Interview with the National Director of SOS Children
Statement – May 30 2024

Children and staff have been displaced from the SOS Children’s Villages in Rafah

On May 28, SOS Children’s Villages started an emergency relocation of children and adults from the Village in Rafah due to a dramatically heightened security risk at the location of the Children´s Village. All 33 children residing at the location in Rafah arrived unharmed at an alternative location in central Gaza.  

With the emergency relocation, SOS Children´s Village Rafah ceases to be a humanitarian hub for the local community and other internally displaced persons in the city of Rafah.   

“It is SOS Children’s Villages' clear intention to re-establish the vital humanitarian support for the local population in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible,” says Ghada Hirzallah, the National Director of SOS Children´s Villages in Palestine. 

The now displaced group from the Children’s Village includes children, supporting staff, former program participants and their families. They have reached their provisional new locations, which are situated within the area designated as a “safe zone.” We note with extreme concern that no areas are truly safe during armed conflict. We remain worried about the safety and wellbeing of the displaced children and staff. Children are always the ones to suffer most in any war and many of these children have been displaced several times to escape the fighting. 

We call on all sides with the utmost urgency to treat and protect children affected by the conflict in accordance with international law. Every child has a right to a safe life. We will continue our work in Israel and Palestine to support children and families in this life-threatening situation as best we can.  

SOS Children’s Villages, founded in 1949, is the world’s largest non-governmental organization focused on supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it.

Child neglect, abuse and abandonment is everywhere. Families are at risk of separation. Locally led, we work in more than 130 countries and territories, including both Israel and Palestine, to strengthen families who are under pressure so they can stay together. When this is not in a child or young person’s best interests, we provide quality care according to their unique needs.

Together with partners, donors, communities, children, young people and families, we enable children to grow up with the bonds they need to develop and become their strongest selves. We speak up for each child’s rights and advocate for change so all children can grow up in a supportive environment.

Our work is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

Sign up and stay connected!

Complete the form below to receive updates, including stories of hope, impact reports and emergency alerts from SOS Children's Villages. Together, we'll build safe homes and loving families for children and young people who need us most.

Help a child right now

You have the power to give a vulnerable child the foundation for a promising future. Donate today to provide a child with a loving home and an education!