Other community work in Nairobi
Since SOS Children's Village Nairobi opened its gates in 1972, the work has continued to expand. Today, SOS Children's Villages is not only caring for children in need, but is also providing invaluable support and offering hope to local families and communities through a number of facilities and programmes.
The attached SOS Kindergarten, which started operating in 1973, comprises three group rooms, a playground, and a variety of secondary rooms. It provides sufficient space for 160 children from both the SOS Children's Village, and the neighbourhood.
The SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School was opened in 1983, and is currently attended by 240 children from both the SOS Children's Village, and the neighbourhood. Around the age of 15, SOS youths usually move to an SOS Youth Facility, where they stay until they have finished their education or training. This gives them more independence, as they are only supervised by a youth educator. SOS mothers, village directors and psychologists carefully prepare the youngsters for this significant step towards independence. On average, youngsters spend four years at an SOS Youth Facility. However, if their education and/or job hunt takes longer, they can of course stay on.
The SOS Vocational Training Centre Nairobi (for food processing, tailoring, joinery, metal processing, and electronics) lies in the immediate vicinity of the SOS Children's Village. It comprises seven workshops, four classrooms, a computer lab, a large practical kitchen, a dining room, and an administration and service unit. In addition to children from the SOS Children's Villages of Kenya, children from the neighbourhood and other African SOS Children's Villages are admitted.
The SOS Vocational Training Centre Nairobi (Mother instruction centre) is a training centre for future SOS Mothers and other SOS staff. It comprises two large seminar rooms, a library, accommodation for participants, and an administration and service unit.
An SOS Social Centre (offering neighbourhood aid, advice and psychological care for street-children and people affected by AIDS), and an SOS Medical Centre (clinic) were launched in 2003. With these two institutions, SOS Children's Villages Kenya widened its scope of aid offered to people in need from the surrounding communities. The initial plan was to directly help about 50 families in need through medical care, activities of the SOS Social Centre, and advice on social issues (including AIDS). Unemployed youths were also invited to participate in the programme, and first contacts with potential employers have been established.