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The SOS Mission is as follows:
- To build families for children in need
- To help children shape their own futures
- To share in the development of communities
We build families for children in need
We work for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within an SOS family.
Our family approach in the SOS Children's Village is based on four principles:
1) Each child needs a mother,
2) Each child grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters,
3) Each child grows up in their own house, and
4) Each child grows up within a supportive village environment.
We help children shape their own futures
We enable children to live according to their own culture and religion, and to be active members of the community.
We help children to recognize and express their individual abilities, interests and talents.
We ensure that children receive the education and skills training they need to be successful and contributing members of society.
We share in the development of communities
We share in community life and respond to the social development needs of society's most vulnerable children and young people.
We establish facilities and programs that aim to strengthen families and prevent the abandonment of children.
We join hands with community members to provide education and health care, and respond to emergencies.
Since its founding in 1949, SOS Children's Villages has expanded to 500 villages in 133 countries. We are currently raising over 80,000 children in our villages and through our many education, family strengthening, medical, and outreach programs, we impact the lives of over 1 million people each year.
Children who have been abandoned or orphaned come to SOS Children's Villages where they are integrated into a loving family environment. They are nurtured and supported by an SOS Mother and up to 15 other children in their SOS home who become their SOS brothers and sisters. Strong bonds develop within these "SOS families", and even after the children are grown and leave the village, these family relationships endure.
While growing up, SOS children have the benefit of a stable, loving family environment that includes the necessities of life such as clothing, meals, medical care and a high-quality education. Children remain in their SOS home within an SOS Village until they are prepared to create lives for themselves as independent adults.
SOS Villages do not operate independently of their environment. Each SOS Village is a role model for the community in terms of quality care-giving, education, and health care and aims to be fully integrated into the larger community - not isolated from it. At SOS, we embrace and respect the local culture, wherever we operate, with the exception of situations that might violate human rights.