Aunty Winnie loves to care for children

June 22, 2020
Winnifred ‘Aunty Winnie’ Hunter
Winnifred ‘Aunty Winnie’ Hunter

E ngaging her in a chat, Winnifred Hunter radiates a maternal charm, and a humble personality.

It's easy to understand why, as she relates her dedication to serving children.

The Airy Castle, St Andrew resident was a caretaker at the SOS Children's Village in Stony Hill for 10 years. She told THE STAR that her innate love for children pushed her to seek such employment.

"I love children and I love to take care of them on a whole, so when I got the job at the home, it was a joy for me. Just to learn about each child is interesting to me because each one is from a different background, and just bring a unique thing about them," she said. "While working with them I get to find out what they like, and just to see how amazing they are makes me feel good."

After her contract ended at SOS, she then moved to the Wortley Home for Girls to impart some of her nurturing charm.

Brings me joy

"I had to leave SOS when I hit 60. I'm now a mother to the children there and it brings me a lot of joy to be around them. I comb their hair and I sit and listen to their stories. Sometimes when they just sit down and talk to me and tell me their dreams, I feel like a mother to them," Hunter told THE STAR.

The 63-year-old, who has three children of her own, says being around the children brings back memories.

"The little things that my children would do, like steal the sugar and run with it and when I'm coming they hide under the bed with it, me just laugh because my children used to do the same thing. They make me laugh, trust me, I look forward to seeing them," she giggled.

"This cause you to get attached to them too because when I had to leave SOS, I was sad. They came to me and said 'Aunty Winnie you leaving? When you gonna come back?' Some wanted to come with me and I had to explain to them that I couldn't just take them. It was so hard but I try my best to go back and look for them," she added.

Hunter said that she also mentors the wards, and most of them have made her proud.

"I also encourage them and tell them that they can achieve anything once they work hard. I love to see them achieve, especially when their parents are not around them, because as children, they need guidance so that they can make a life for themselves," said Hunter. "Since I was at SOS, I see some of them become nurse, bank tellers and other good things, and trust me, it gives me joy to see them grow into good men and women because they are my children."

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