“Finally, it is time to change my hearing aid battery…… Mom lost her voice trying to make me hear what she says,” said Salwa* slowly talking to SOS Family Strengthening (FS) coordinator after she received her monthly financial support. Salwa is a 19 years old young lady, has just got her secondary certificate. It wasn't an easy thing for her, especially with her severe hearing impairment which has significantly affected her ability to speak. Despite getting good marks that allow her to study at the university, Salwa has decided to take a different path in her life. She has chosen to receive the needed vocational training by a certified institute to become a tailor and fashion designer. Her hearing problems were not the only reason behind her decision, but also her strong need to find a job quickly. She needs to make money to help her mother with their living expenses. When she was 15, Salwa lost her father for the war in Syria, and that made the family live in a great sadness for years. Despite the passage of several years after her father’s death Salwa can’t forget the incident; every time she hears bombing she goes back to the day she lost him. Since her father’s death, Salwa’s mother has started working in a clothes store with long working hours, and she has depended on Salwa to take care of her little brother. Unfortunately, Salwa’s mother salary was less than 70 $ and it wasn’t even enough to secure basic life needs. For that, the family started to receive financial and psychological support from SOS Children’s Villages Syria. “I still remember the moment when my mother told me that SOS Children’s Villages is going to buy me a hearing aid device, I felt so happy and my happiness got even bigger when I found it a very small and invincible one, that no one can see it,” said Salwa proudly. It has been four months since Salwa attended her first vocational training session at Almaamoon institute. It still takes one year to finish the training and get the certificate. However, Salwa now is working in a tailor shop near her house to receive the practical training and become proficient in tailoring and fashion designing. ” Psychological support provided by SOS children's villages is no less important than financial support. It is very obvious that Salwa's psychological situation has improved considerably after the installation of her hearing aid device and her registration at the institute, she seems to be more confident and relax” said Mr. Najeeb, FS coordinator in SOS Syria. After getting her certificate, Salwa, like many of SOS FS beneficiaries, will have the chance to receive consultant and financial support from SOS Children’s Villages Syria in order to establish her small project which will generate income. This income will help her family become self-reliant and independent. Salwa has a strong wish that she thinks about almost daily; she is waiting for the day when she will become a professional designer and earn money to cover all her family needs. She knows that her hard work, patience, and efforts won’t be in vain. For years, she saw in her mother her ideal woman who took the responsibility of raising her children despite different life challenges she faced. Whenever Salwa thinks about challenges, she remembers her hearing and speaking problems. However, she works on her strengths until she reaches the day when her work will speak on her behalf. Salwa is one of 415 beneficiaries who receive support by FS program that works with families and communities to help them build their capacities so that children are well cared for and families stay together.
* The name of the young lady was changed to protect her privacy.