What we do
SOS Childrens Villages International aims to:
- prevent children from ending up alone by supporting fragile families to stay together.
- provide children with a permanent family home in an SOS Children’s Village when they are orphaned or abandoned.
- provide quality education and healthcare in these communities.
- build SOS Nurseries, SOS Schools, and SOS Medical Centres in deprived countries to assist the local community. Globally, over 100,000 children attend SOS Nurseries and Schools.
What are childrens villages?
SOS Children’s Villages are home to children who, for various reasons, are no longer able to live with their biological family. Many are orphaned or abandoned. In a Children's Village, each child is cared for by an SOS mother. She lovingly cares for a small group of children and they live together as a family.
There are several SOS families in a Children's Village. Together, they form a safe and supportive community. We know every child is unique, so those growing up in an SOS family are given individual, tailored support until they are young adults. This includes healthcare and quality education. Many then go on to attend our trade schools so that they can become successful members of their communities.
SOS in Australia
In 1995 SOS International provided funds to SOS Australia to purchase 13 residential allotments at Seaford Rise (Adelaide suburb) and to erect 11 houses to establish its first Australian children's village. The Village was completed and opened in 1996, but was forced to close down in 2005 because of conflicts with the child care bureaucracy. The Departments ideology-based policies refused to accept the concept of child care that SOS has been practicing for 60 years with worldwide acclaim and 144 international awards for excellence. In essence, the Department deemed that the SOS village model was too unsophisticated (politically incorrect) for Australian children.
The subsequent Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry investigating the closure reported to the Parliament that:
"The Select Committee believes that the SOS Village made a significant and worthwhile contribution to the South Australian child protection system during the 10 years of its operation. The Committee considers that the circumstances which ultimately led to the cessation of the involvement of SOS in the Village were deplorable and reflect poorly on the Department and on the Government."
Incredibly, the closure resulted in the Department deciding to purchase the village from SOS. Their subsequent efforts to run the village with social workers was a total failure.
The sale of our Seaford Rise Village to the South Australian Government resulted in a profit to SOS of $1.3 million, and these funds were used to establish the Clayton Bay children’s camp, which has become SOS Australia's new program.