March 21 2017


Dubai, UAE (March 21, 2017): At the 14th annual DIHAD conference, international social development organisation caring for orphans and abandoned children, SOS Children’s Villages International, implored all organisations to work together as a united front to help children in crisis around the world.

Speaking at DIHAD, Special Representative for External Affairs and Resources of SOS Children's Villages International, Richard Pichler, emphasised the essential need for children’s education and trauma support as two crucial factors that will help children in conflict situations and strengthen future societies.

In the UAE’s Year of the Giving, SOS Children's Villages International is finding new ways to support children’s immediate and long-term care programmes through key partnerships.
Mr. Pichler comments: “Realistically, we cannot undo the past and some of the terrible things these children have been through, however education is one of the many key ways that we can all help. Our recent work with corporates partners has been hugely valuable in providing education and mentorship programmes. This kind of work is essential to educate children and provide them with guidance for the future. If we do not do this, we will simply be nurturing the ground for the next crisis.”

The 14th annual DIHAD conference theme for 2017 ‘The Impact of Crises and Disasters On Children’, brings humanitarian organisations together from across the globe.  According to UNICEF, there are 50 million children in migration worldwide, one in every 200 children is a refugee and half of the world's refugee population are children. Commenting on the latest refugee figures, Mr. Pichler says “we must not become immune to these shocking figures – we must fight against the immunity of numbers.”

Mr. Pichler continues: “Our support is a moral obligation as well as an investment in the future - a child is a child, no matter what asylum status. At SOS Children’s Villages International, we are ready to be part of a strong united response. We know we are not the only ones who will not leave these children alone. I call on you to rise together to the challenge and make a difference in their lives so that we can stay human and our societies can thrive.”
SOS Children's Village International is the world’s largest organization in child care. It works with children in 135 countries, including support to refugee and migrant children in Lebanon, Armenia, Italy, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Germany and Niger. It also provides humanitarian relief to children and families in Syria, Ukraine and Palestine.

Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages International, Gulf Area Office, Jumana Abu-Hannoud comments: “DIHAD has been a great opportunity for us to connect with our key partners and with potential partners. We’ve had some invaluable discussions around furthering our collaboration to strengthen our joint ability to respond and provide long-term support for children in crisis areas.”

Mr. Andreas Pap, International Director of Global Emergency Response for SOS Children’s Villages International, is also delivering a workshop during DIHAD to show how state of the art technology improves the different states of the emergency response cycle, showcasing SOS Children’s Villages International’s application of technologies within its emergency response.