SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages started in 1949 with an innovative idea. Hermann Gmeiner, a child welfare advocate from Austria, recognized a problem: thousands of children in post-war Europe had lost their families, and orphanages presented them with the prospect of a grim institutional childhood. His solution was to develop a model of family-like care – providing children with security and a sense of belonging by building reliable and resilient relationships.
Today, this individualized, holistic approach remains the basis for our unique expertise in care. We embrace our origins in social innovation and activism by constantly seeking to adapt and improve our work to meet the best interests of each child, family and community and by advocating for child rights.
More than 70 years later, SOS Children’s Villages’ presence has grown to more than 130 countries and territories around the world.
With the generous support of donors, partners and friends, SOS Children’s Villages helps hundreds of thousands of children each year through alternative care, family strengthening, schools, health centres, and other community-based work. No other organization shares our singular focus in working directly with children and young people who have lost parental care or who stand at risk of losing it.