January 1 2002
SOS Children's Villages - child charity
SOS Children's Villages as an international child charity organisation provides long-term care for orphans and children in need. Our organisation gives care and support to needy children. With our high attitude of charity we want to help children to enjoy their right to a childhood and to healthy development, through a family, through security, through love and respect.
The first SOS Children's Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949 in Imst, Austria. He was committed to help children in need with all of his love that he got. He concentrated his attention to charity for children who had lost their homes, their security and their families as a result of the Second World War. With the support of many donors, co-workers and volunteers, our organisation has grown to help children all over the world.
We take action for children as an independent non-governmental social development organisation. We respect varying religions and cultures and we work in countries and communities where our mission and charity can contribute to development. We work in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child and we promote these rights around the world.
With the SOS Children's Village concept, our organisation pioneered a family approach to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children who need a lot of charity. This concept is based on four principles:
The Mother - Each child has a caring parent
The SOS mother builds a close relationship with every child entrusted to her. With her charity she provides the security, love and stability that each child needs so much. As a child-care professional, she lives together with the children, guides their development and runs her household independently. She recognises and respects each child's family background, cultural routs and religion.
Brothers and Sisters - Family ties grow naturally
Girls and boys of different ages live together as brothers and sisters, with natural brothers and sisters always staying within the same SOS family. These children and their SOS mother build emotional ties that last a lifetime.
The House - Each family creates its own home
The house is the family's home, with its own unique feeling, rhythm and routine. Under its roof, children enjoy a real sense of security, charity and belonging. Children grow and learn together, sharing responsibilities and all the joys and sorrows of daily life.
The Village - The SOS family is a part of the community
SOS families live together, forming a supportive village environment with charity where children enjoy a happy childhood. The families share experiences and offer one another a helping hand. They also live as integrated and contributing members of the local community. Through his or her family, village and community, each child learns to participate actively in society. In our villages children get as much charity as they need.