November 20 2017

1 in 10 children worldwide are growing up alone

Invest in family care to create ‘Care Effect’, says SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages estimates that 220 million children, 1 in 10 of the world’s two billion children, grow up without the loving care of a parent or stand at risk of losing it.

On November 20, Universal Children’s Day, SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk, stresses the importance of a loving family for children. Without the loving care of a parent or other adult caregiver, children are less likely to develop the skills they need to become contributing members of society, says the organisation.

Commenting on the research findings, Jumana Abu-Hannoud, Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages International, Gulf Area Office said: “On Universal Children’s Day, we reflect on the 1 in 10 children across the world and within the Middle East region, who are victims of tragic circumstances. Providing family-based care for children is essential, not only to nurture and support the child, but also to strengthen society and build a better and brighter future. This is at the heart of what we do - we aim to help every child find a loving and safe home, which is something that many of us take for granted.”


Expert insight summarised in a new report from SOS Children’s Villages entitled ‘The Care Effect’ shows that children who do not receive the love and care they need struggle to achieve their potential. They do less well at school, and have trouble focusing and developing social skills. Later in life, they are also more prone to depression and substance abuse, leading to higher rates of attempted suicide. They do not develop the resilience to cope with inevitable adversity. And University of California Los Angeles Professor Allan Schore, an expert in developmental neuroscience, has shown that the size of the brain is influenced by a lack of love.
This not only affects children, but society as a whole. Millions of children end up in poverty, become involved in crime or experience unemployment because no one cares for them or believes in their potential.

The Care Effect
Providing a family for more than 80,000 children and young people around the world, the organisation has learned from experience that it is possible to create a ‘Care Effect’. The newly-released report concludes that “if we provide care for today’s children in vulnerable circumstances, giving them the foundation they need for learning and developing life skills, we stand a better chance of meeting the [UN-endorsed Sustainable Development Goals] and building a better future for the world”.
Their claim is supported by the Center on the Developing Child (Harvard University), which has reported that every dollar invested in early childhood development returns $4 to $9 to society.
With a moving video created from children’s and families’ home videos from around the world, and championed through a Thunderclap social media campaign by International Ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages and Belgian professional footballer, Vincent Kompany, the organisation emphasises its claim that ‘no child should grow up alone’.
SOS Children’s Villages International, Gulf Area office will be launching an Arabic version of the ‘no child should grow up alone’ video, which can be viewed here: