SOS Children has two major charity objectives. First, we work very hard to stop more than half a million children ending up alone, abandoned or in institutions. We do this by strengthening families, helping communities, and providing education and healthcare. Secondly, for children who have no other hope of family life, we provide new families for life; these children only have hope thanks to the kindness of child sponsors. Have you considered sponsoring a child?
We need your help and support in helping keep families together and in sponsoring children so that we can provide family based care for them. Child sponsors have helped make us into the world’s largest orphan and abandoned children’s charity.
Our vision is “a loving home for every child” and we have a rather unique approach to sponsorship which we think is the best for children and child sponsors alike. We choose locations where there are many orphaned or abandoned children. We conduct "root cause" research into why this is happening then we work outwards from the children in greatest need into the wider community to tackle the reasons.
Child sponsors and donors worldwide provide a new family and home for more than 78,000 children in 518 unique Children’s Villages in 125 countries; we help ten children stay with their own family for every child in an SOS family.
SOS Children: Offering real child sponsorship
We offer real child sponsorship, the way we think it should be done. Our sponsors and donors help children whose parents are not there for them. They may be AIDS orphans, street children, child soldiers or children orphaned by war, poverty or natural disasters (see for example the current Sahel Emergency Appeal). We give these children a mother and a family in a home within an SOS Children’s Village. Donations pay to build the Villages and run them until child sponsors cover the running costs. Where family life is at risk (for example where parents in Africa have AIDS), we run programmes to help strengthen families and keep them together.
Although we are always trying to improve it, our working model is very simple:
- We take groups of seven to ten (less in the developed world) children alone and put them together with a permanent resident SOS mother to make a family for life
- We group a dozen or so SOS families like this together in a Village and then work out from this centre to try to help the wider community with the facilities needed
- If there is no adequate medical care, we provide it
- If there is no school, we build one
- If there are families on the edge nearby (child headed families etc), we support them.