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International SOS Children Day – 23rd June 2011

Celebrations in SOS Village Chittagong, Bangladesh
Celebrations in SOS Village Chittagong, Bangladesh

On 23 June every year, children, mothers and staff celebrate international SOS Children day. Fun activities and parties are organised to commemorate the birthday of Hermann Gmeiner, who founded SOS Children 61 years ago. Read how the day is celebrated around the world…

SOS Children's Village Chittagong, Bangladesh

Children and young people from the SOS Village Chittagong plan the activities for the day themselves well in advance. They usually organise a children's party to celebrate the day. Children from city schools are invited, and the children from the SOS Village perform dance, music and drama in front of the big audience. "At the children's party I participated in drama because I love acting. This time I performed in the role of magician and enjoyed it a lot," said Haider. The SOS Social Centre in the local community invite children from the Family Strengthening Programme to the centre to join in a variety of activities. They organise a competition for the children in the morning, followed by a special lunch together for all the families.

Dancing in CV Bakoteh, Gambia

SOS Children’s Village Bakoteh, The Gambia

SOS Children's Village Bakoteh celebrate SOS day on 23 June, with a programme full of fun and surprises. The Village organise family contests, an opportunity for each of the ten families living in the Village in Bakoteh to display their talents in a fun competition. The families compete for awards including the house with the best singers, the best dancers (see photo, right) and the house which bakes the best cakes. They each presente a show to convince the judges why their house should receive the award. Cordelia Pratt, an SOS social worker from the Village explains "they've been rehearsing for weeks! The houses were very lively these past weeks, fine-tuning all the little details for the big day". Following last year’s celebrations, 13 year old Alice (whose family won the 'best cake' award) said "It was a great and fun day and I hope we'll celebrate it again this way next year”.

SOS Children’s Village Cebu, Philippines

A large dinner marks the celebration of SOS day in SOS Children's Village Cebu. Former SOS Children who have grown up and left the Village return for this special Dinner at CV Cebu, Philippinesday, bringing their husbands or wives and their children. After a day of catching up with their SOS mothers, siblings and friends, they all have dinner together as a community (see photo, right). During the dinner, photos and slides from the former SOS children’s childhood were shown on a large screen, a reminder of the happy times they have shared.

Find out more about the history of SOS Children.