Helmut Kutin Award winners 2012

Margarita Maximiana Cusihuamán Sisa from Peru

All 25 of her children, whom she raised with love and patience, have achieved a higher degree of education. But what really makes her special is the persistence and respect she has put into building and maintaining a caring relationships with the biological parents of her children – a revolutionary approach back when she started 26 years ago. With patience and empathy she helped her children understand and respect the situation in which their own parents decided to abandon them. As difficult and challenging as this task is, this is today the common understanding of the SOS mother's role. That is why she became, and still is, a pioneer in the work with biological families in SOS Children’s Villages Peru.

"What motivates Margarita to move forward is to see her oldest children personally and professionally self-fulfilled and taking care of their own families," comments the village director. "Although she already has 10 grandchildren, she is still very dynamic and enterprising, but above all she feels happy and satisfied with the life choice she made."

Hanan Al A'Awar from Jordan

"She is as gentle as a dove, honest and clear - a tender mother by all means." That is how Husam Abu Joab, Village Director of Amman, Jordan, describes SOS Mother Hanan Al A’awar. "She taught all of her 24 children how to love and be loved, respect themselves and reflect that on others.

She’s their reference and guardian in everything," he says "A mother is not only the woman who gives birth, but the one who teaches her children the right way to go. Just like my mother Hanan did for us," says one of her daughters, Ghadeer Taylikh, who is today studying at King Abdullah’s Kings Academy. "She gave us all her love and joy. Without words, she felt when we were sad or happy", Ghadeer adds.

Village Director Husam Abu Joab considers "Mama Hanan" one of the great assets of his village: "A mother loves her children most divinely not when she surrounds them with comfort and anticipates their needs, but when she resolutely holds them to the highest standards and is content with nothing less than their best. This is Mama Hanan, with her devotion and love for her job, her children and her SOS family."

Jojis Miyir from Ethiopia

"I like Aunt Jojis because she knows a lot of fables and songs", says Suzan, a twelve year old girl in the SOS Children’s Village in Gode, Ethiopia, about her SOS Aunt. Indeed, whenever SOS mothers need a substitute, the children - as well as mothers - love it when Jojis can fill in for them. Her caring nature has made a difference. For one little girl named Ayan, Aunt Jojis is the caregiver who helped her develop from a traumatised and speechless girl to a playful and cheerful one.

Before Jojis came into this family house, the village management team was very concerned about little Ayan, who did not seem to recover from the trauma she experienced in early childhood. After a while, people around the village were stunned to see the changes Jojis made possible. Her first step was to form a close relationship with Ayan. As time passed, Ayan became more sociable, as welll as physically and mentally stronger. The wish of the whole village team and the wish of Ayan is for Jojis to be accepted as an SOS mother.

"Even if children make mistakes, her tone of voice is full of kindness and mercy. With lots of understanding and her natural democratic but firm style, she passes great messages to the children," explains Village Director Mustefa Haji.


We congratulate the winners!