A new SOS Children's Village family in Mersch

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Interview with Michael Mathieu, SOS  father since the end of 2021

At the end of last year, a new SOS Children's Village family moved into their home in the SOS Children's Village in Mersch. Children with intensive care needs live here together with the SOS father Michael Mathieu, supported by other staff members. By mid-2022, the SOS family will be complete and a total of 5 children will be cared for here.

Michael Mathieu chose the profession of  SOS father because he is convinced that the concept of SOS Children's Village families is unique, and that it allows him to enter into an intensified and even deeper bonding and relationship work with the children and young people, and that he can thus develop personally and professionally.

For him, being an SOS father is a real dream job. We talked to him about his motivation, his goals and his work as an SOS Children's Village father.

Mr Mathieu, can you briefly describe your professional career so far?

I have been working in the profession of educator for just over 10 years now. I first discovered my love for the profession through detours and happy coincidences, after having worked in the logistics department of a state institution for 10 years before that. After my training as an "Educateur diplômé", I then worked in Germany and Luxembourg in child and youth care. I have been with SOS Children's Villages Luxembourg since mid-2021, where I first went through a probationary and coaching phase in the SOS families and a therapeutic residential group, before then starting my work as an SOS father at the beginning of December.

What made you decide to become an SOS father?

The decision-making  phase was a well-considered and reflective process. I had to think about everything carefully, and in the discussions I had with the Directorate Representative Melanie Reinert, it became clear to me that the profession of SOS father matched my ideas about working with children and young people. I needed a career change and the concept of SOS Children's Villages Luxembourg convinced me, because on the one hand it offers me a lot of autonomy in my job, but at the same time the framework in which I move is very structured, with always one primary overriding goal: to offer the children a safe home and to accompany them on their way to a fulfilled life.

You have now been working as an SOS father since the beginning of December. What are your first experiences in this function?

Of course I was very nervous and worried whether I would be able to live up to the expectations and responsibilities. But I have to say that these worries have not been confirmed, because in SOS Children's Villages Luxembourg you are lucky to work in a strong network with a strong tradition and the other staff members are there to help and advise you. I know that I can count on the support of all the people in charge and the staff, and that they always have an open ear for me. In addition, SOS Children's Village Luxembourg allows me to continue my education in the field of trauma pedagogy, which gives me further skills and qualifications for my work in the SOS family.

I organise life and work with the children and the other staff members in such a way that we all meet with mutual respect for each other and at eye level. I try to take the children on board and respect and appreciate their individuality. At the same time, I create and promote clear structures. This constellation allows us to live and grow well together.

These first experiences have shown me that today I can say that SOS father is my absolute dream job, which fulfils and challenges me professionally but also humanly.

Are you interested in the profession of an SOS Childrens' Village parent? You can find more information on this link: SOS Children's Villages families - SOS Kannerduerf

You can find more information regarding external SOS Childrens' Village families on the following link: SOS Children’s families - external - SOS Kannerduerf

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