Please read the important story below, sent earlier today to fans of Alexander Skarsgard who have raised an amazing $36,000 for SOS Children’s Villages. You can help too! Join Global Village Builders now to be part of the story!
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Dear SOS Supporter,
Alexander Skarsgard’s fans have continued to show their support for SOS by signing up to be Global Village Builders. SOS Children’s Villages is an organization that helps over a million people in 132 countries through SOS Villages, schools, medical care and outreach programs. I recently came across a very touching story that helps illustrate how and why children come to grow up at an SOS Village and wanted to share that with you now.
Why would a father run away?
The day the twins were born should have been joyous – but it all went tragically wrong. Catastrophe struck Silvano and Silvino right after their birth at their home in Binar, Guinea-Bissau.
Right after the twins were born, their mother, Afi, died. Then their father, Cheikh, ran away leaving them alone with their dead mother. Why would a father run away? Because he was afraid.
According to ancient customs, many Balantas believe that it is the father’s fault when the mother dies in childbirth. According to these customs, Cheikh would be held responsible.
In a country like Guinea-Bissau, where more than two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line, 1 in 16 women die in childbirth – meaning that any pregnancy is extremely risky.
When Afi’s family came to see about their daughter that morning, they found her dead. The family was furious and blamed the father just as he had feared, but he had disappeared.
They turned on the infants. They didn’t want them! These twins who they believed caused the death of their beloved daughter would be a burden – more than they could bear.
Still covered in their mother’s blood, the babies were taken outside and left under a tree in the backyard. Based on ancient customs, the family would mourn their daughter and leave the infants to fate.
Thankfully, Afi’s sister, Saran, had more exposure to modern health practices and did not blame the infants or the father for Afi’s death. She gathered up the babies from the backyard and began to walk. Hurrying out of Binar, she headed toward the nearest town. She must have made quite a scene walking with two unwashed, traumatized babies. When she asked another traveler for help, she was given this life-saving advice…
“Take them to the SOS Children’s Village in Bissau. They rescue children.”
On and on, Saran walked for 15 miles along a dusty road until she was directed to the SOS Village on the outskirts of Bissau. Exhausted and tearful, Saran could finally start to feel real hope for these children.
While Saran sobbed out the story of that morning’s tragedy, two SOS Mothers and the SOS Nurse cleaned and fed the babies. The next day, the Village Director sent a team to verify the aunt’s story. (SOS follows each country’s laws as well as their own protocols for ensuring that everyone’s rights are protected and decisions are made that will serve the best long-term interest of each child.) Approval from the Regional Court was obtained, and, ultimately, Silvino and Silvano were admitted to SOS Children’s Village Bissau.
The whole SOS Village welcomed the babies who are now growing up in an SOS home with 8 other SOS brothers and sisters. Their SOS Mother, Mariana, fell in love with the twins and showers them with affection.
The twins are growing up learning local traditions and culture. At the SOS Village, they are attending school so that they can learn science, math and languages. As educated, independent adults, they can choose to follow ancient customs that work well today and remember others in their memory.
When caring friends come together, children can grow up in families with love, security and respect. Unfortunately, there are children like Silvano and Silvino throughout the world who need your help.
Thank you for extending your generosity to SOS Children’s Villages.
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
P.S. So far, Skarsgard fans have committed to donating $100 per month to SOS and its global programs. But if just 70 more fans become Global Village Builders, we can collectively donate $1,000 to SOS per month! Be a part of that story…join Skarsgard fans in going Global now!