Celebrating 31 years of devotion towards vulnerable children of Seychelles
As circumstances would have it, Louise, who hails from Anse Boileau district was raised in her teenage years by a foster family and at a young age, she travelled to Saudi Arabia to work as a nanny to three children.
Upon returning to Seychelles in June 1987, she heard of the opening of a special Institution for vulnerable children by the late President Albert Rene at Port Glaud.
Back then Louise, who was 26, was reckoned to be too young to work in the Institution and was unsuccessful in her application for a job.
Seven months after its opening, The President’s Village had over 76 children and faith beckoned again to Louise as she was recruited to help out.
To this day, she recalled how difficult the task was as The President’s Village was still in its infancy.
“We learnt about each child and why they were there”, she said. “To have been put in an institution was considered a taboo back then and these children faced many difficulties. Coupled with that there were not so many support systems at national level and even professionals, as there are now.”
During those years, she has seen and experience many changes in what was back then and still is the only government Residential Care Homes for children, as well as the largest of such Institution in the country.
“One of the child I cared for, is now in her late 30’s, so you can imagine how many children have come through here. Some have been adopted, others have gone back to their families and some stayed with us longer and upon reaching 18 they left and started to build their own families,” she explains whilst recounting some success stories of The President’s Village.
With so many years of experience, the bubbly Monique, says she finds it easy taking care of the children of others. “They are often hurt by what they have been through and so they manifest these feelings through various ways. Once you put yourself in their shoes, you can cope with this and learn how to help them,” she says, adding that ‘they only want to be listened to.’
So many years after her first visit to The President’s Village and after so many changes, Monique Louise, who have now adopted a child of her own, says she will never change her job for anything.
“I would encourage other people out there to give these children a chance; some of them have good qualities that will make a childless couple or any other families very happy….”
Currently there are 30 children in The President’s Village and aged between 4 to 17 years of age.