May 12 2008

Austrian chancellor visits new SOS Children's Village in Argentina

12/05/2008.- Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, chancellor of Austria, visited the new SOS Children's Village Lujan in Argentina after his official visit to President Cristina Kirchner and other political figures of the country.

Photo: Fernando Espinoza
Chancellor Gusenbauer and the Austrian ambassador Gudrun Graf enjoy their visit to Lujan - Photo: F. Espinoza

Among the several local authorities, personalities and special guests from the community, the welcome ceremony to Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer was attended by Ms Gudrun Graf, Ambassador of Austria in Argentina; Graciela Rosso, Intendant of the Party of Lujan; Heinrich Muller, representative of SOS-Kinderdorf International for Latino America and the Caribbean, and Josef Schwald, president of the National Association of SOS Children's Villages Argentina. The welcome speech was given by Mr. Schwald, who kindly underscored the importance of the visit of Dr. Gusenbauer to the organisation and thanked him for his presence at the youngest SOS Children's Village of the country. Next, he described shortly the history of the organisation in Argentina, underlining the meaning of the support of many kind-hearted people that give children the chance to have a better future. "Like Hermann Gmeiner once mentioned," he said, "Many children need many friends. [In Argentina] an SOS friend is a generous person, who gives a little money on a monthly basis - 25, 40, 50 $ (new Argentinean pesos)* - to ensure the maintenance of the organisation's work."

Photo: Fernando Espinoza
Proud owner of a new ball from the European Football Championship 2008 - Photo: F. Espinoza

Similarly, in his speech, Dr. Gusenbauer took the chance to congratulate the organisation for his great work all over the world. "SOS Children's Villages has given proof, for over half a century, that it is an absolutely serious, professional and reliable work," he stated. "Today, it is one of the largest NGO's in the world that concentrates its work on the integral development of children, families, and the community."

And after a little cultural presentation of a folk group of "gauchos" playing tunes from the Northern savannas of Argentina, Dr. Gusenbauer spent a few moments with the children of the village, for whom he had brought lots of kid's balls. But, as if it were not enough, he had also brought for the village a special cheque for 2,000 Euros, becoming one more committed SOS friend of SOS Children's Villages Argentina.

*about 8, 13, 16 USD respectively