August 27 2007
100th SOS Children's Village in Europe opens its doors
27/08/2007 - On Saturday, 25 August, the 100th European SOS Children's Village Europe was officially inaugurated in Valmiera, Latvia. The new SOS Children's Village will provide a home to up to 80 children left without parental care from all over Latvia.
"Children are our future, but we must do everything that is in our power to ensure their wellbeing today, as only then will we secure a better future for all of us," said Michael Pöltl, the continental director of SOS-Kinderdorf International responsible for Latvia at the opening ceremony on Saturday. "We very much hope that SOS Children's Village Valmiera and its children will find their place in Valmiera's society and will soon become an integral part of it."
Celebrating the opening, numerous guests from Valmiera but also from Scandinavia and other countries gathered to the village in spite of the bad weather. The village comprises twelve family houses that will provide a new home to up to 80 children. The local authorities have great expectations for the SOS Children's Village and foresee that the educational concept will provide a new level of quality in care.
Valmiera is a small town, with approximately 30,000 inhabitants, 110 kilometres from Riga, and close to Latvian-Estonian border. According to the local social welfare office, children in Valmiera end up in out-of-home care due to alcohol abuse, physical violence and emotional abuse.
Currently there are 13 children living with three SOS mothers in their family houses. Two couples, who have successfully completed the trainings, are now waiting for the children to come. "By the end of the year we will have 20 children. The other mothers will be appointed during the next year," said the director of the village Vitolds Krivins. "We have two couples and they will invite children into their new SOS family starting in September."