Setting young adults up for success
Education and empowerment open the door to economic self-sufficiency and help young people to become productive, contributing members of their communities. Sadly, an estimated 263 million children worldwide don’t have the opportunity to go to school.
Building resilience, self-confidence and self-worth helps youth develop mechanisms for protection against life’s ups and downs.
It is estimated that 71 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed worldwide. To increase youth employability, SOS provides young people with the training and opportunities most relevant to their local job market.
Denied an education, children miss out on a path out of poverty, a chance at a brighter future and the skills to realize their full potential.
children and youth cannot read, write or do basic math
children worldwide are engaged in child labor
children of primary school age are out of school; 53 percent of them are girls
Make a Difference Today
Magaly arrived at the SOS Children’s Village in Arequipa, Peru when she was five-and-a-half years old. There, she became part of an SOS family that she describes as being “centered on trust, understanding and mutual encouragement.”
In 2017, the Gender Gap Index ranked Ethiopia 115 out of 142 in gender disparities. Ethiopian culture tends to promote strict, traditional gender roles: men provide income by doing work outside of the home, while women do household chores and look after children.
You can empower the next generation by providing them with the education and the toolkit to thrive. Donate to help the children of today and tomorrow.
SOS Children’s Villages works to develop well-rounded and self-sufficient young adults, no matter their starting point in life. SOS’s comprehensive approach is tailored to each individual’s passions and skills – working to empower each individual to reach their full potential. A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group shows that investing in the SOS approach for supporting disadvantaged youth provides a return on investment of up to $14 for every $1 invested. Learn more about our Education, Employment and Empowerment programs. Learn more about how we empower the next generation.
March 11 2019
The European Commission hosted a roundtable with SOS Children’s Villages in Brussels to discuss quality child protection and care systems.
March 8 2019
Gitta Trauernicht, Vice President of SOS Children’s Villages International, shares her thoughts on empowering women and girls.
March 1 2019
YouthCan!, the SOS Children’s Villages global youth employability programme, marks its second successful year of making a difference on 1 March 2019.
We work with other development agencies, governments and communities to advance initiatives that help children and families, and to raise awareness about the rights of children and the responsibilities of those around them.
Children who lack family care can become part of a new family at one of our SOS villages, join an SOS-supported foster family or be cared for by relatives who benefit from SOS services.
At SOS, we combine short-term aid and long-term guidance to strengthen families so they are better able to care for their children and to protect them from child labor, child trafficking and other threats to their safety.
Now 22, Magaly is enrolled in a teacher training course and will qualify as a primary-school teacher later this year. Magaly has grown to be independent; she manages her own finances and lives alone. Magaly credits her autonomy to her upbringing.
“I received so much support at SOS Children’s Villages… My mum… brought me up from a very young age and has been there for me every step of the way. Sometimes I was quite mischievous, but she always fought for me. Thanks to SOS Children’s Villages, I am the person I am now,” says Magaly.
Magaly’s sense of independence also comes from her participation in vocational training. As an adolescent, she attended a series of workshops to help young people learn how to make the transition to adulthood. This is a typical part of SOS’s vocational training.
The best part is that Magaly’s empowerment touches far more than her own life. Once she finishes her studies, Magaly plans to complete a psychology course that will enable her to assist children from troubled backgrounds. She will take the skills that she was given access to – and that were nurtured by a loving family – and pay them forward to the next generation. In this way, Magaly will continue the cycle of empowerment.
Empowering Strong Girls
In 2014, the Gender Gap Index ranked Ethiopia 115 out of 142 in gender disparities. Ethiopian culture tends to promote strict, traditional gender roles: men provide income by doing work outside of the home, while women do household chores and look after children.
SOS Children’s Village Jimma, however, takes a different approach. The leaders of this SOS village, located in southwestern Ethiopia, are working to raise the children in their care to see women and men as not so different after all.
Keren, age 10, is the head of the ministry of sanitation and development in the children’s parliament of the SOS village. She is learning from a young age that she has a voice, and that she has the power to use it.
“As a female leader, my strongest quality is self-confidence,” Keren says. “I am confident in my ability to lead and work with others… I freely talk to people without fear but without intimidating them. I let others express themselves and I warmly welcome their opinion.”
Doing away with gender bias isn’t all about leadership positions; it starts with the small things. Village director Mulualem Gurmessa knows this; he makes sure cleaning, cooking and other household chores are assigned to both boys and girls, which is counter to what would be done in the average Ethiopian community.
SOS works to empower all children in its care to grow up with a positive, optimistic outlook on life and the power that comes with dreaming big. With the support of her SOS community, Keren wants to become the first female president of Ethiopia.