July 18 2019

SOS Children’s Villages celebrates 50 years in Lebanon

SOS Children’s Villages marked 50 years in Lebanon last week at a ceremony inaugurated by the First Lady of Lebanon, Mrs Nadia Shami Aoun and Mr Siddhartha Kaul, President of SOS Children’s Villages International.
Held at the SOS Children’s Village Bhersaf in Bikfaya, the event reflected on the past five decades, with a number of poignant talks including from the Austrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Marian Wrba, who paid tribute to the long-term impact the organization has had for children in need in Lebanon.


Throughout the event, children from across the SOS Villages in Lebanon were invited to join in the festivities - personal anecdotes were shared by the alumni of SOS Children’s Villages as well as performances by the children’s choir, for a true day of musical celebration.
Mr Siddhartha Kaul, President of SOS Children’s Villages International commented: “We are honoured that for the past 50 years, friends from around the world have supported the SOS family in Lebanon. SOS Children’s Villages transcends all religions, political systems, social systems – and is based on one simple truth – every child needs a mother.”

Mr Siddhartha Kaul, President of SOS Children’s Villages International
 “SOS Lebanon was one of the first villages to implement the family strengthening programme that supports women with confidence, knowledge and skills. These programmes were then implemented across 134 other countries around the world, helping to improve the lives of children, communities and countries so that the cycle of broken families can be ended,” said Mrs Afifa Arsanios, Honourary President and Board Member of SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon.
This year also marks 70 years globally of SOS Children’s Villages, which was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Tyrol, Austria, in 1949. The organisation’s 70 Years of Impact report concludes that it has contributed to transforming four million lives since its founding in 1949, by supporting children and young people to grow up in a safe and caring family environment.