If anyone encompasses the phrase ‘making the most out of a bad situation’, it’s Sophie Milovic.
At first, she fiercely declined this interview. She was suffering with mental health, clashing with her family at their home near Hamburg, Germany; and losing friendships as a result of her low mood and lack of motivation.
Having lost her job as a medical assistant at a paediatrician surgery, she had no reason to get out of bed in the morning. Of what was left of her life after COVID-19 restrictions, work was all she enjoyed.
That was until some social restrictions were lifted, meaning she was allowed to see Ida, her three-year-old niece, again.
“I found a new purpose in life,” says Sophie. “It rejuventated my love of caring for children. I adored spending time with Ida and it made me realise how important the health and wellbeing of children is to me. It’s my biggest passion in life.”
From there, Sophie set about turning her life around. She unlocked her closed savings account and started budgeting start-up costs for her own childcare business.
“This renewed sense of… well, life, I suppose… was just what I needed. I’m not sure I could have carried on living for much longer, not with the way I was feeling just a few months ago.
“I kind of feel a little bit guilty for feeling that way now,” she admits, “but my overwhelming feeling is a sense of relief that I don’t feel like that anymore.”
Although COVID-19 restrictions mean she can’t quite conduct business the way she wants to just yet, Sophie still has plenty of work to keep her busy over the next few months, at least.
“Things are going great now, thank God,” she says. “I’m able to travel around my area doing bits of freelance work. Random shifts supporting various doctors – all after a negative COVID test – and even providing private study support for students who are doing the course I did to qualify as a medical assistant.
“I love every second of my job right now. My sister works in business development, so she’s given me her spare time to help me build a strong foundation for my business to grow.
“The future looks bright for me again now, and I never, ever thought I’d be able to say those words again. It feels good,” she says, holding back tears.
Thanks to motivation and support from her family, and renewed love and care from friends she thought she’d lost, Sophie has huge plans for a post-COVID future.
“Business will be going strong, hopefully,” she says. “I have plans to build up even more of the work I’m doing now, freelance bits and getting involved in training and tutoring students that are going through their qualifications.
“Having been through it myself, I know it’s not easy for them. There are so many different sub-topics and things to remember, even learning about IT systems and body language and things like that.”
In the grand scheme of things, Sophie has bigger hopes and bigger dreams. She aspires to change the lives of children around the world, by working in povertry-strick areas of the world such as Africa and the Middle East.
“I want to get out into the world and make a difference outside of Germany,” she explains.
“Children need help all over the world, and if I can play the smallest part in that – if I can help one child, even just a little bit – I’ll be able to die an extremely, extremely happy woman.”
Sophie has already offered her support to some small charitable groups in Syria and Kenya, albeit providing administration support on a part time basis. While it’s not the impact she wants to make, she knows that it will be a process of biding her time and building connections.
“I’ve already built some invaluable relationships in a couple of countries across the world,” she says, “whether that be administrators in Kenya or marketing managers in Syria, I’ve met some truly good people who have the same hopes and aspirations as I do.
“My goal is to change the world,” she admits with a smile. “I’ve been really against saying that, because it sounds ridiculous and I know people will just laugh at me for it.
“But that’s my ultimate goal and it’s not going to change. It’s going to take so much hard work and dedication, as well as support from others around me, but I really believe I can make it happen. I want children across the world to live their best lives.”