The first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner, an Austrian philanthropist , in 1949 in Imst, Austria. Since then, the organization has been active and expanding throughout the world. At present, SOS Children’s Villages is active in over 136 countries and territories with over 500 SOS Children’s Villages and 400 SOS Youth Facilities striving for the welfare of the children in need of care and protection.
In India, the organisation caters to over 25,000 children and there are 32 SOS Children’s Villages in 22 states in India.
As an independent non-governmental social development organisation:
We take action for children in need of care and protection.
We respect varying religions and cultures, and we work in communities where our mission 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 through our flagship programmes, namely the Family Based Care and the Family Strengthening Programme.
With the SOS Children’s Village concept, our organisation has pioneered a family approach to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children in India
What we want for our children
EVERY CHILD BELONGS TO A FAMILY
Family is the heart of society. Within a family each child is protected and enjoys a sense of belonging. Here, children learn values, share responsibilities and form life-long relationships. A family environment gives them a solid foundation on which to build their lives.
EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH LOVE
Through love and acceptance, emotional wounds are healed and confidence is built. Children learn to trust and believe in themselves and others. With this self-assurance each child can recognise and fulfil his or her potential.
EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH RESPECT
Each child’s voice is heard and taken seriously. Children participate in making decisions that affect their lives and are guided to take a leading role in their own development. The child grows with respect and dignity as a cherished member of his or her family and society.
EVERY CHILD GROWS WITH SECURITY
Children are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation and are kept safe during natural disaster and war. Children have shelter, food, health care and education. These are the basic requirements for the sound development of all children.
We Build Families for Children in Need
We work for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family. Our family approach in the SOS Children's Village is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in their own house, within a supportive village environment.
We Help them Shape their Own Futures
We enable children to live according to their own culture and religion, and to be active members of the community. We help children to recognise and express their individual abilities, interests and talents. We ensure that children receive the education and skills training they need to be successful and contributing members of society.
We Share in the Development of their Communities
We share in community life and respond to the social development needs of society's most vulnerable children and young people.
We establish facilities and programmes that aim to strengthen families and prevent the abandonment of children.
We join hands with community members to provide education and health care, and respond to emergencies.
These are the core beliefs and attitudes on which our organisation has been built, and they are the cornerstones of our success. These enduring values guide our actions, decisions and relationships as we work towards fulfilling our mission.
COURAGE: We take action
We have challenged traditional methods of orphan care and continue to pioneer innovative child-care approaches. We help children who have no one else to turn to. With a sensitive yet confident approach we are determined to question, learn and take action for children around the world.
COMMITMENT: We keep our promises
We are dedicated to helping generations of children have a better life. We do this by nurturing lasting relationships with our donors, our co-workers and the communities in which we are rooted. We believe that by making a long-term commitment we have a meaningful and sustainable impact.
TRUST: We believe in each other
We believe in each other's abilities and potential. We support and respect one another, and build an environment where we can approach our responsibilities with confidence. In an atmosphere of trust we are inspired to share our experiences and learn from each other.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We are reliable partners
Since 1949 we have built a foundation of trust with donors, governments, and other partners who support us in our mission. Our greatest responsibility is guaranteeing the well-being of children by ensuring high standards of care. In doing this we are committed to using all funds and resources wisely, with respect and accountability