A leader in and out of the office, Bridget Ross demonstrates a drive to make a difference. In September of 2008, she embarked on a journey to India where she met the humanitarian organization, SOS Children’s Villages International.
Her experience proved transformative in changing the lives of orphaned children. Initially, she envisioned the grim reality of orphaned children to be depressing. But what would come of her experience would be not only uplifting, but powerful in changing the lives of the affected children — and her own life as well.
What is SOS Children’s Villages International?
SOS Children’s Villages International is a non-governmental and non-denominational organization with a global reach. Motivated by a mission to spread love and care to those in need, SOS Children’s Villages International is a foundation with an approach of compassion. Their vision is to solidify a world wherein every child grows up in a loving, respectful and secure family. By building families of volunteers for children without parental care, the foundation strives to offer support to those who need it most.
Founded in 1949 by Hermann Gemeiner, SOS Children’s Villages International began out of a desire to provide parentless children with strong support networks. 70 years after its inception, the mission continues. Building loving families and supportive communities is the foundation of the organization — the volunteers who lend loving, supportive hands are the backbone of that effort.
SOS Children’s Villages International assists disadvantaged children in a multitude of ways. In emergency situations, the organization’s volunteers help to safeguard and protect children. Advocates for children’s rights, they ensure that affected children are provided with quality care. According to the organization, globally, 1 in 10 children grow up alone and without support and proper care. SOS Children’s Villages International and their volunteers strive to diminish that heartbreaking statistic. The organization establishes communities maintained by live-in volunteers who act as “mothers” to groups of orphaned children. The women who maintain these maternal roles are courageous. Coupled with the unwavering support of outside volunteers, these mothers work to make an active difference in the lives of children.
Bridget Ross’s Involvement With SOS Children’s Villages International
In 2008, Bridget Ross geared up for a leadership program which partnered with SOS Children’s Villages International. Along with a group of peers, she visited an SOS Children’s Village in New Delhi, India. Initially unsure of what to expect, she was amazed by the work of the organization-appointed mother figures. Inspired by their resilience, Ross and twenty-four colleagues came together to reshape the futures of not only orphaned children, but the women who worked so hard to provide for them. After discussing matters directly with the village’s mothers, Ross and her team concluded that a poor water supply seemed to be the source of a great deal of the community’s health problems. Aiming to make a productive difference in these individuals lives, the team of volunteers formulated a plan. The group raised funds — many of which were personal contributions — to install a water filtration system. Assisting in this project, hands on, proved incredibly rewarding to Bridget Ross. A strong believer in investing in women and their causes, she hopes that this effort has continued to make an active difference in the lives of the village’s orphaned children and their mothers.