June 20 2008

Together for one million children - General Assembly of SOS-Kinderdorf International

Press release

(17 June 2008) - The 18th regular General Assembly of SOS-Kinderdorf International will take place from 3 to 5 July 2008. Within the framework of the conference, which takes place every five years, the course is set for the global work of SOS Children’s Villages, decisions are taken on specific goals and programmes, and the President and other bodies are elected. More than 300 representatives are expected from 132 countries.

The living conditions of children will become even more difficult than they are today in many regions of the world. Many families will experience greater hardship in the future owing to poverty, the dramatically increasing cost of living and shortage of resources, the population increase, epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and the reduction of state involvement in social responsibility.

Over six decades, SOS Children’s Villages has developed a wealth of experience in the out-of-home care of children that have been orphaned, neglected or abused. SOS Children’s Villages will apply this expert knowledge even more extensively in the future to also support disadvantaged families outside SOS Children’s Villages. The aim of the family strengthening programmes is for children to remain in their family environment and for families to live independently and care for their children materially, emotionally and in terms of education. The decisive factor in this is strengthening and developing local resources.

Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children’s Villages, strongly advocated the protection of children’s rights all his life. Many children growing up at SOS Children’s Villages have had to suffer violence and abuse.

SOS Children’s Villages is therefore mandated and obliged to stand up for children’s rights in public and explicitly set global child protection guidelines as the model of its own activities. These global guidelines will also be presented during the General Assembly.

The official opening of the General Assembly will take place at the Congress Innsbruck at 4 p.m. on Thursday 3 July 2008. Honorary guests  Ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages Princess Salimah Aga Khan, the president of the Tyrolean Regional Government Herwig van Staa and the Mayoress of Innsbruck Hilde Zach will be attending. After the opening of the General Assembly, the City of Innsbruck and Tyrol will hold an official reception at the Congresspark Igls.

On 3 July at 10.30 a.m., SOS-Kinderdorf International will hold a press conference at the Congress Innsbruck (see press invitation as dowload).


If you have any queries, please contact:

Doris Kirchebner 
SOS-Kinderdorf International, Communications
Tel.: +43/512-3310-5171


Viktor Trager
SOS Children's Villages Austria, Press
Tel. +43/676-8814-4201