SOS Children's Village Sanothimi – May 2 2021 A Mother Never Retires Ms. Kanchhu Regmi Retired SOS Mother SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi I joined SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi in 1972 in the same year SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi was established as the first SOS Children’s Village in Nepal. I meet with Dr. Hermann Gmeiner at the inauguration of SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi. He was a man of good heart. His novel idea helped connect a woman with children who are not her biological but came to become her children for a lifetime. Though, I didn’t understand his language, but I feel like we were connected with emotions; emotions to help and support children in need. I remember once I got an opportunity to welcome him. It was such an honor for me. During his visit, he used to distribute balloons to the children. His gracious presence used to motivate us. Once, we also celebrated his sister’s birthday. During his visits, he used to say, this is your own creation, you have to mould it and establish yourself. All children are different, their need is different, some are talented, some take time, some need suggestions, some need proper guidance. It is the responsibility of an SOS mother to understand a child’s need and treat as per the requirement of a child. I joined SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi at the age of 25 as an SOS mother after receiving training. At that time, the village was in the very initial stage. On the very first day of my appointment, I was given a responsibility of a child who might be around 2 years. Within a week my family grew bigger with additional five children all aged below seven years. My life at SOS is a beautiful journey. Starting my day at 4 a.m, raising children, providing them love and support they need, laughing, preparing food together and dining; all these have become a memory. However, after 14 years of my retirement, I am still a mother of my 32 children and grandmother of my children’s children. The bond with my children have grown even stronger with the passage of time. Now, looking back to those days, I feel very happy to see my children integrated into the wider society. Some of my children received higher degrees and few were below average, some hold prominent positions in different organizations, some are engineers, teacher and social workers. I feel proud to say that all of them are involved in some professions and leading their independent life with dignity with their family. I receive their calls frequently. All of them have a special place in my heart. Some even sing a song for me over the phone. In occasions and special events, they come here to meet me and share their happiness and sorrow. On top of that, when they say, I am a part of their life and they could never forget me, tears roll down through my eyes. After 35 years of service to three generations of children and raising 32 children, I am now living a retired life of an SOS Mother in retired Mother’s Home. However, a mother never retires. Her heart is always with her children.