2016 Hermann Gmeiner Award Nominee: Irene Bailey
2016 Hermann Gmeiner Award Nominee: Irene Bailey
Born in Senegal but raised in an SOS family in Germany, Irene Bailey is a true example of what can be achieved despite a rocky start in life. Her life’s story is also a testament to how providing unconditional love to a vulnerable child can motivate that child to pay it forward.

[Irene was just nominated for the 2016 Hermann Gmeiner Award, an annual award given to an outstanding SOS alum. Vote below for Irene!]
In 1975, tragic family circumstances led Irene, who was just 20 months old, and her 3-year old sister N’dine to move to Germany with her maternal grandmother, who was living in Germany at the time. Her grandmother decided that the best place for her two granddaughters to grow up was at the SOS Village in Eisenberg, Germany. There, the two sisters were raised under the loving care and guidance of Gudrun, their SOS Mother, who was simply “mom” to the girls.
Irene and N’dine with their SOS brothers at the SOS Village in Eisenberg, Germany, when they were just toddlers.

Both Irene and N’dine later moved to the United States, where Irene has been heading the SOS Children’s Villages Atlanta Volunteer Chapter for more than a decade. The chapter has held countless functions to raise money for SOS Children’s Villages. From dinner parties to soccer festivals, Irene has volunteered thousands of hours to make sure that SOS Children’s Villages is a name known throughout Atlanta. Her efforts to introduce companies, donors and political leaders to SOS Children’s Villages have resulted in the raising of tens of thousands of dollars.

“My motivation to help others stems from the awareness that I was loved unconditionally by my SOS (Children’s Village) mom and was taken care of in the most amazing way by people who do not share my DNA,” says Irene.

In 2014, Irene hosted a soccer tournament to celebrate the World Cup and fundraise for SOS. She worked tirelessly to secure fields, vendors, teams, and donations for the Atlanta International Soccer Festival. She did all this while working her normal day job, raising two kids and getting married. The event received an endorsement from the Atlanta mayor and support from the local professional soccer team. In total, it generated over 70 media hits.

“My wish is that children around the world don’t have to suffer as much in the future and that places like SOS (Children’s Villages) therefore become less and less necessary. However, in the meantime, I hope SOS will receive more awareness, funding and support so that even more loving homes will be created for children in need all over the globe,” she says.
Alles Gute Irene, SOS Kinderdorf wurde von meinen Eltern schon unterstuetzt
4/5/2016 5:26:30 PM

Philip Bolton
No question. You have my vote. Phil
4/5/2016 5:14:01 PM

Marcia Sutton
You are an angel, Irene!
4/5/2016 1:16:57 PM

You're a winner in my book!
4/4/2016 5:22:45 PM

Awesome Irene ,thank you
4/4/2016 5:08:41 PM

Masum billah
wishing your the best
4/4/2016 3:41:50 PM

Jacqueline Covington
Good uck
4/4/2016 11:42:32 AM

Keep up the good job.
4/4/2016 12:10:23 AM

Congratulations to Irene. An amazing,capable and beautiful person,inside and out.
4/1/2016 9:35:14 PM

Go Irene!
4/1/2016 6:22:49 PM

Voting on every computer that I can!
4/1/2016 5:23:14 AM

Bob Watson
Your story is inspiring as is the gratitude you express in your contribution to SOS Children's Villages
4/1/2016 1:45:46 AM

Dear irene, I am so proud to have met you. You do an amazing job at SOS Children and I'm voting for you!
4/1/2016 12:57:00 AM

Jewel McDonald
Be Blessed! Stay the course. You are going to do great things in your life.
3/31/2016 8:38:55 PM

Hope you win you really deserve this!
3/31/2016 6:03:18 PM

Aaron Kim
I just vote for you!
3/31/2016 3:39:19 PM

Beautiful heart! Supporting team Bailey!
3/31/2016 3:23:36 PM

Forewah Emmanuel
I vote for Irene
3/31/2016 10:57:31 AM

Klug, taff und liebevoll, so wünscht man sich seine Mutter
3/31/2016 9:20:36 AM

Suzette Arnold
Rooting for you Irene... Way to go...
3/30/2016 9:24:34 PM

Sandra Lewis
Wish I could vote more than once. What a beautiful story! Good luck, I really hope you win.
3/30/2016 7:58:27 PM

Wishing you the best !
3/30/2016 4:41:34 PM

Voted for you Irene!
3/30/2016 4:38:08 PM

very nice vote for you
3/29/2016 3:23:38 PM

Kiran gaha
voting for you Irene
3/29/2016 8:14:54 AM

Kiran gaha
vote please. god bless you brother.
3/29/2016 8:12:46 AM

Robin Rhyand
Irene is an inspiration to all those that care and yet feel they have no time to spare! Irene proves it can be done when you care enough, you find a way to make a difference.
3/28/2016 4:19:48 PM

Shofiqul Islam Ripon
good initiative programme
3/28/2016 7:29:59 AM

Vote for Irene!!!
3/28/2016 5:28:13 AM

A moving, compelling story indeed. Thx, SOS Children's Villages & Irene. Keep up the superb work.
3/27/2016 4:20:18 AM

Thank you, Irene for your dedication to SOS Children's Villages. It's your ministry.
3/26/2016 12:23:25 AM

helarius shylla
thank you, i am motivated..
SOS shillong. india
3/25/2016 3:59:59 PM

God bless Herman and Kutin
3/25/2016 3:15:26 PM

This is awesome!God bless you guys.
3/25/2016 6:58:08 AM

Pulling for you Irene
3/25/2016 12:47:55 AM

precious Williams
3/24/2016 10:54:32 PM

What and awesome vision! Blessings to you.
3/24/2016 7:27:10 PM

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