It is widely understood that a stable, nurturing environment lays the foundation for a child’s healthy development. Unfortunately, not every child has this advantage.
An estimated 220 million children —1 out of every 10 children worldwide — have lost, or are at high risk of losing parental care.
Without the stability of a family, a child faces an increased risk of malnutrition, violence, exploitation, and other life-threatening circumstances.
SOS Children’s Villages builds families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. When children cannot stay with their family or have no family, we give them a safe home, together with their siblings, where they can grow up in one of our SOS families.
A trained caregiver who builds a nurturing relationship with each individual child in her care.
Both biological siblings and SOS siblings develop natural family bonds with one another.
Each SOS family creates a loving environment marked by safety, a sense of belonging and shared responsibilities.
A safe, supportive community of neighbors, with access to psychosocial support, medical centers, schools and recreational facilities.
Suleyman, a 9-year-old boy, was left homeless and alone when he was five. After more than a year on the streets, he was found by staff from an SOS Village in Khartoum, Sudan, and welcomed to and SOS family.
Suleyman’s transition from street life to a stable family life wasn’t easy. Lacking many basic skills, he was frustrated and angry and often communicated through violence.
Suleyman’s SOS Mother played a major role in helping him adapt and integrate with his siblings. She encouraged Suleyman and her other SOS children to share meals, to play games as a group, and to take responsibility for looking after one another.
With support from his SOS Mother, Suleyman was able to overcome his past trauma. He learned to trust his new family and began to love his SOS brothers and sisters. These days, Suleyman takes the lead in welcoming new children to the SOS Village in Khartoum.
Nearly half the population of Sudan is under the age of 14. In a country characterized by armed conflict and poverty, Sudan’s children are among the worst affected, and an estimated 3.5 million are without parental care.
Ten year old Usha lost her parents and her home when an earthquake hit Nepal in 2015. Her surviving relatives were not able to care for her. A couple of weeks later she was welcomed into an SOS Village in Sanothimi.
“On the day Usha arrived, she had difficulty adjusting to the SOS family. She was crying and was very upset. She slept with her SOS Mother the first night,” said the national director of SOS in Nepal, Shankar Pradhananga.
Today, Usha is attending an SOS school. Her favorite subject is Nepalese. She is getting along well with her SOS brothers and sisters and has a special bond with a toddler in the village who also lost her caregivers to the earthquake.
Adil and his two brothers were orphaned in 2011 when a rocket fell on their house in Damascus, killing their parents.
For the next two years, the boys lived with various relatives until they eventually had to move to a shelter housed in a school for unaccompanied youth. In March 2013, they were moved to the SOS Children's Village in Damascus where they were given an SOS Mother to look after them, and reenrolled in school.
Adil was only 5 years old when he arrived at the village and suffered a lot of trauma. At the SOS Village, he was able to see a psychological therapist to help him through his issues.
Now, Adil is 7 years old and doing much better. He is thriving as a second grade student and loves science. He is still living in the SOS Village in Damascus, which is home to about 120 children like Adil who have been orphaned or abandoned.
"I feel safe with my family because I love them and they love me. When I grow up I want to be a policeman so I can help and protect people, and make sure they are safe."
Suleyman, 9 SOS child from Sudan
“I started with learning the letters, and I’ve been moving up two grades a year since I arrived to the village to make up what I missed. I now dream to study finance because I love mathematics, and I have very high grades in the subject.”
Adil, 7 SOS child from Syria
Download our informational fact sheet to learn more about the Family-Based Care Programs at SOS Children's Villages around the world.
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