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Why families matter

Did you know that we're the world's largest family?
Did you know that we're the world's largest family?

Here at SOS Children’s Villages, we believe that families are incredibly important. Nothing helps children flourish as much as growing up in a stable, loving environment where going to school and a healthy lifestyle are top priorities. However, we know that this is not the reality for many children across the world.

That’s why we work so hard to provide supportive, loving families for children with no-one and run hundreds of family strengthening programmes that give parents and caregivers the practical and emotional tools they need to give their children the best childhood possible.

Fatou with her children
Our family strengthening programmes give families like Fatou's the support they need to overcome the challenges they face

In 2015, SOS Mothers at 573 Children’s Villages around the world tucked almost 60,000 children into bed every night, making us the world's largest family! We also supported 467,000 children and their families through our dedicated family strengthening programmes.

Working with families in the communities surrounding our Villages, these programmes help families stay together. The support given to each family is tailored to their individual needs but everything we do is designed to help them build solid, sustainable and self-sufficient futures for themselves and their children.

“If SOS Children was not here, our children would have become street children, with all the risks this may cause. Today, we are proud of ourselves, and many of us have found dignity. We can now stand on our own feet.”
—A mother in Dakar, Senegal, who we helped achieve financial independence through our community work

Knowing that the work we do allows parents all over the world to look forward to the future with hope is an incredible feeling! With your help we can help even more families – find out how…

Creating precious family moments at our Children’s Villages

Giving orphaned and abandoned children the chance to experience the warmth of family at our Children’s Villages is at the very heart of what we do. For us, nothing beats giving children in our Children’s Villages family moments they can cherish.

We asked children from several of our Children’s Villages to share their favourite family moments:

An SOS mum in Poland prepares food with her SOS children
Every child needs a loving home to flourish in and our aim is to make that happen

“My favourite time is when I come back from school and I help the younger children with their homework. If I have to stay at school or have errands to run in the afternoon, I feel that there is something missing from my day.”

–Faith, 15

“I love Friday afternoons the best as it’s the last day of the week before the weekend. We all sit together as a family and do our homework so that we have the rest of the weekend free. I also like it if I have to stay up late to finish my homework and it is just my mum and me together.”

–Rebecca, 15

“My favourite time is when I come home from school. There is time to watch TV together, read books and do our hobbies. I like to help the little ones and talk to them about what they did at school. When I was little, my favourite time was playing with my toys in the afternoons. In the evenings, my mother used to tell me folktales about long ago. We all listened very carefully and she told the stories in both Shona (the local language in Zimbabwe) and English so that we could learn both languages.”

– Tapiwa, 15

A group of children from SOS Children's Village Pondicherry
We give orphaned and abandoned children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family

“I like playing with mummy after school and helping her cook lunch for my brothers and sisters.”

– Ropa, 3

“I like bedtime and dinner time. I eat rice and sadza (the staple dish in Zimbabwe) but I don’t like to share my food with my brothers and sisters!”

– Elvis, 4

“We like it when we wake up in the morning because it’s a new day to have fun. The best time is when we first wake up and see mummy.”

–Tanaka and Tanadzwa, twins, 4

We have been providing vulnerable children with loving families since 1949. Find out more about the work we do.