Sheeja was brought to the Children’s Village at a young age. She found solace and love in the arms of her SOS Mother, who gave her assurance from the very first day that there was no looking back from this point.
“I can still recall the moment when I first came to the Village. I looked around and saw beautiful playground with swings, but there was a strange feeling, maybe because of being at a new place. I saw a lady approaching me with familiarity as if she knew me already, she was my Mother! I shared the same connection with my brothers and sisters when I entered my new home.”
Sheeja grew up in in a SOS home with her siblings who became her support system. She recollects her memories of her childhood and what growing up in a family means to her. “My village was located amidst natural beauty, with mountains on three sides and trees and plants all over. Even now nothing has changed here it is the same, just like the love and care of my mother. I have fond memories of this place; this is where I grew up, this is where I found a family”.
This wonderful connection that Sheeja experienced in her childhood helped her grow to her full potential. She didn’t just get a family to live in but got relationships which were for life. “My mother who, after 25 years of service, is now retired is the most wonderful woman I am lucky to have known. My mother has taken care of 35 children (my brothers and sisters). I am fond of each of them – for all practical purpose equally. Nine of my sisters and one of my brothers are married and settled well. I am an aunt (though I am only 24) for 10 children! I think I have the most vibrant and most wonderful family!”
Children who grow up in SOS Children’s Villages of India have a normal childhood like any other child. Hence, proper education is given to each one of them and they are encouraged to take up careers of their choice and interest. SOS Children’s Village takes care of children until they are settled through career or marriage. Sheeja however wants to be an independent girl. “I am doing an internship at BIOCON, as a data analyst. I, with the help of the field staff, collect, analyze and find patterns in the data that will help company to gain an edge over the competitors.”
“My mother and the Children’s Village has been a great support to us. Most of my sisters and brothers are well educated and well settled, which encouraged me to pursue an MBA. One of my elder sisters is MSc in Mathematics, who also completed B.Ed. after MSc. Two of my elder brothers are Engineers and working in reputed companies in Dubai and Bangalore. One of my elder brothers after completion of Bachelor of Mathematics from Carleton University, Canada, is working as a business analyst.”