On a recent trip to the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Maputo in Mozambique, I was happy to meet someone who proved that our partnership with SOS Children's Villages is truly something special.
I recently visited the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Maputo where I was happy to meet Luis Pedro, a young man working in banqueting at the hotel. I meet a lot of team members at a lot of our hotels, but what made this encounter special is that Luis grew up in the local SOS Children’s Village in Maputo.
Luis has been working at the hotel since it opened five years ago - first as an intern, then through casual work and finally as a full-time position. It was Luis who put the organization forward as a perfect local partner for the hotel, long before we signed a global agreement of cooperation.
This is Luis’s story:
Before SOS Children's Villages
During the civil war in Mozambique, Luis's parents were abducted by the rebel Renamo forces when he was just a toddler. His father managed to escape and organized the rescue of his wife and child.
Luis’s mother went back to her parents’ home, but they rejected her and her child because they thought she had been staying with the Renamo army voluntarily. As she had no means to take care of Luis, she left him with an old lady - who, in turn, gave him to social services.
After SOS Children's Villages
Luis came to SOS Children's Villages from social services when he was three years old. He was then raised by a house mother whom he had grown attached to, but then had to let go as she retired and a new mother joined the village. Eventually, he grew fond of her as well.
Luis studied at SOS Children's Villages schools, finishing high school before the organization financed his vocational study in hospitality management. As part of that, he joined the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence for a short internship in 2013 - and is still with us today.
The importance of a good start in life
During my trip, I also had the chance to visit the well-run SOS Maputo Village, which includes 15 houses that provide a home for 150 SOS children - as well as a kindergarten, primary and secondary school.
The schools are open for children from the local neighborhood, which is home to many poor families. The SOS Children's Villages team also runs a successful family-strengthening program in the area, serving 1,500 children and their families.
Luis’s story is another fantastic illustration of the positive impact SOS Children’s Villages can have on young people's lives. We can help make that difference by sponsoring an SOS Child and by training young SOS alumni when they are ready to leave the Villages.
With Community Action Month about to start, it's the ideal time to demonstrate that we care! For more information on how to support SOS in your country, contact your regional RB coordinator or firstname.lastname@example.org