January 18 2018

Vietnam: Celebrating 30 Years

SOS Children’s Villages celebrates 30 years of providing care and support for children and families in Vietnam.

In 1967, Vietnam became one of the first countries outside Europe where SOS Children's Villages implemented programs. Due to war, programs were halted in the mid-1970s. In December of 1987, we were able to reopen our programs providing family care, community support and educational opportunities across the country.

The anniversary is a significant milestone for SOS Children’s Villages and the people of Vietnam. “Without a doubt, all activities by SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam represent great humanitarian actions. The SOS Villages have offered the best care for children in need so they can prepare for independent and meaningful lives ahead,” said Lan Hong Dao, President of SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam.

“The 1980s were a difficult period of rebuilding in Vietnam, and we are proud that SOS Children’s Villages played such a prominent role in caring for children and supporting families who had suffered during the war and its aftermath,” said Dac Huu Dam, President of SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam from 1997 to 2010.

Helmut Kutin’s Early Role

Helmut Kutin, former President of SOS Children’s Villages International, was instrumental in developing the first SOS Villages in Vietnam. His early work on behalf of children in the country would later be recognized by Vietnam’s government.

Today in Vietnam, SOS Children’s Villages has 17 SOS Villages, 12 SOS youth facilities, 12 Hermann Gmeiner schools, 16 kindergartens, four vocational training centers, six Family Strengthening Programs and one medical center.

“I have grown up, got a stable career and found a happy home for myself thanks to SOS Children’s Village Danang. It’s a long journey from nurturing to teaching by mothers, aunts and beloved people in the Village,” says Tuan Thanh Ngo, who was born in 1985 and grew up at the Danang Village.

Hoa Thi Bich Cao, who grew up at SOS Children’s Village Da Lat, says: “I always keep the village in my heart and find ways to be able to help give back.” Cao, the operator of an English-language training center, now helps the Village’s children at the Village and others in the community by providing language lessons.

Back in Business

SOS Children’s Villages received government approval to resume our work in Vietnam in December 1987.

Throughout the years, SOS Children's Villages has helped more than a generation of children and families. Among them is Dao Thi Nguyen, who began working at one of the first new SOS Villages, Da Lat, in 1989. She has cared for more than 20 children over the years.

“All of them have graduated from universities, colleges, got a degree, have a stable career and have become involved citizens. Six of them got married and now have children and a happy life. I now have six SOS grandchildren,” Nguyen says.


Three Decades of History

Key dates since SOS Children’s Villages resumed programs in Vietnam in 1987:

  • 1989: Opening of Da Lat and Lam Dong SOS Villages
  • 1990: Inauguration of Go Vap and Hanoi SOS Villages and Hanoi kindergarten
  • 1991: Inauguration of Vinh SOS Village and Da Lat kindergarten
  • 1993: Inauguration of Hermann Gmeiner schools Da Lat and Go Vap and Go Vap kindergarten
  • 1994: Opening of Da Nang SOS Village and Hermann Gmeiner schools in Hanoi and Vinh
  • 1995: Opening of Da Nang kindergarten
  • 1997: Opening of Hai Phong SOS Village and kindergarten, Ca Mau SOS Village and kindergarten, and Da Nang Hermann Gmeiner School
  • 1999: Inauguration of Hanoi Training Centre, Viet Tri SOS Village and kindergarten, Nha Trang and Ben Tre SOS Villages
  • 2000: Opening of Hai Phong and Viet Tri Hermann Gmeiner schools, Nha Trang and Ben Tre kindergartens
  • 2001: Inauguration of Ben Tre and Ca Mau Hermann Gmeiner schools
  • 2002: Opening of Nha Trang Hermann Gmeiner School
  • 2006: Inauguration of Thanh Hoa and Dong Hoi SOS Villages
  • 2007: Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Children’s Villages International and a former Village Director in Vietnam, receives the Vietnamese government’s Friendship Medal in recognition of his efforts to promote good relations between Vietnam and international organisations. Also this year, Dong Hoi and Thanh Hoa kindergartens open
  • 2009: President Kutin opens the SOS Children's Village in Dien Bien Phu
  • 2010: Thanh Hoa Herman Gmeiner School opens
  • 2011: Inauguration of Dien Bien kindergarten
  • 2012: Opening of Quy Nhon SOS Village and kindergarten
  • 2014: Inauguration of SOS Children’s Village Pleiku and Dien Bien Phu Hermann Gmeiner School
  • 2015: Opening of the SOS Children's Village Thai Binh and kindergarten
  • 2016: Helmut Kutin, Honorary President of SOS Villages International, and President Siddhartha Kaul honored by the government for outstanding achievements in labor, creativity and national construction; inauguration of SOS Children’s Village Hue
  • 2018: SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam celebrates 30 years of work in Vietnam