Professional moms in SOS Villages around the country often dedicate their lives to taking care of abandoned, orphaned, or abused children. They spend decades in the villages running a household making sure the kids they are assigned to are fed, clothed, and educated. With no option to marry or have a family of their own they sacrifice so much for the children they get assigned to care for.
Many might ask, where do these mommies go when all their kids have grown up and graduated, or when they reach retirement age and might not be able to physically care for children anymore?
We found the answers here. In a small section of SOS Village, where studio units that resemble bachelorette pads are located.
Here, mommies who reach retirement age are given a studio type home that resembles a condominium (sans the elevators). They are not assigned to care for kids anymore and they are allowed to travel to see their families whenever they like.
Retired SOS mom Luisa Villajuan, 58, for instance spends her days visiting her relatives in the province as often as she can. Luisa who became an SOS mom in 1993 when she was 35 years old, spent 20 years serving the kids she was assigned to.
We got to chat with her recently to know more about her life as a retired mom.
Learn more about mommy retirement in SOS and her life in her retirement home on the next page
How long did you work as an SOS Mom?
I started in SOS Children’s Village in 1993 and became an SOS mother for 20 years. I was 35 years old when I became an SOS mom and I didn’t hesitate to become one. When they asked me if I wanted to be an SOS mom, I wholeheartedly accepted the role.
When did you retire? In 2013, I was 55 years old.
How has retirement been like?
Right now I live in the retirement house. SOS gave me the budget to buy my needs which includes some appliances like my refrigerator, a washing machine, electric fan, gas stove, curtains among others.
I enjoy my time as a retired mom. I don’t have to submit budget reports anymore, I don’t have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare the things that my kids need for school.
Now that I’m already retired, I can go to the province to visit my relatives whenever I want. Although it could get lonely at times, especially when I wake up and realize that unlike before, I’m alone in the house and I don’t have the kids with me anymore.
How do you spend your days?
I clean the house, do the laundry, and do a little gardening. And then I go to the Community Kitchen to help out. Sometimes I water the plants and clean the yard.
What do you miss about being an SOS mom?
I miss having my kids with me, having meals at the table together, going out to hear mass together and seeing them grow up.
Aside from having a retirement home, what other benefits are you enjoying now?
I get 100% medical benefits.
What do you plan to do in the next 5-7 years?
I want to see all SOS Children’s Villages here in the Philippines as well as other tourist spots.
Do you still see your SOS kids? Do they come back to visit you?
Yes! “Di nila ako nakakalimutan!” The others who can’t visit often text or call me.
What’s your proudest moment as an SOS mom?
Seeing them happy. When they (my kids) get along with each other and treat each other like family. I’m especially proud when they graduated and finished school.
What are your thoughts about mommy retirement? Share your answers in the comments section below!
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