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Education

SOS Children is committed to all children receiving their right to education. When equipped with knowledge, skills and ambition, children can grow up to live happy, empowered lives, and be valuable members of their society.

A girl in a pink cardigan writing on a desk
Like children all around the world, this girl at our Children's Village
in Borovljany, Belarus is busy with her homework

At least 68 million primary school-age children around the world are denied their right to education. One of the main obstacles preventing children from going to school is poverty. We believe that the poverty cycle can be broken by all children getting a good education.

Around the world, SOS Children works to provide a holistic education to children, that develops cognitive, social, emotional, physical and vocational skills.

  • Nearly 25,000 young children receive pre-school education and childcare at 238 SOS Nurseries (or Kindergartens).
  • Over 100,000 children attend 180 SOS Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • Over 17,000 young adults benefit from 63 SOS Vocational Training Centres where they gain skills and knowledge to help them find employment.
  • Overall, 142,000 children, young people and adults are enrolled in our education programmes.

Are you a student or a teacher? Have a look at our school resources.

Visit the SOS Nursery in Tlokweng

Meet the principal at the SOS Nursery in Tlokweng, Botswana, and watch the children playing, learning and having fun!

See our schools

This map shows all the SOS Nurseries (Kindergartens), Primary and Secondary Schools around the world. Combined, we run over 400 education programmes for 125,200 children! To learn more about where we work, click here.

Map of SOS schools

A female teacher helps two young boys with their schoolwork
A teacher at SOS Nursery Arusha, Tanzania, helps two little boys
learn their letters

The importance of early childhood development

For children not yet old enough to attend primary school, we offer a stimulating and educational environment at our nurseries. We build SOS Nurseries beside our Children's Village when there are not existing services available. Here, young children develop their social, mental and motor skills, preparing them for primary school. Teaching, toys, and games at our nurseries are tailored to the local culture. 

Youngsters from the communities around our Villages, as well as from within them, attend SOS Nurseries. Local families value the daycare services we offer, as it gives parents the space to go out to work, happy that their little ones are being well looked after.

Single mothers especially benefit from our daycare services, as they can earn an income and support their families. In this way, our SOS Nurseries help families to stay together, in the same spirit as our family strengthening programmes

Child-centred education

Children growing up in SOS families always receive a quality education, either at local state schools or in SOS Schools. If there are too few state-run schools, or when they are of low quality, we build SOS Primary and Secondary Schools. Our educational facilities are open to the surrounding community, ensuring thousands of children around the world are equipped with a good education.

A group of children sitting on the ground laughing together
It's playtime at the SOS School in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Each SOS School follows the local curriculum, and teachers from the region deliver an education in line with the local culture. Education is child-centred, and respects each child as a unique learner who is an active participant, with specific needs and learning styles. We believe child-centred education is key to a child's success at school, and our teachers are trained in this approach.

Children who attend SOS Schools receive a high-quality education, gaining skills for life. A survey showed that 17% of children who grew up in SOS Children's Villages, and were educated in our care, went on to complete a university degree. This is a high proportion compared to the average in many developing countries.

Skills for life

We provide skills training for young people at SOS Vocational Training Centres. Here, skills are taught that will help young people to find work in their local labour market. The centres offer courses and apprenticeships in various trades, industries and services. These include car mechanics, carpentry, printing, plumbing, electrical engineering, home economics, commerce, agriculture, and IT. Courses are tailored to the local job market, and apprentices graduate with good job prospects in their community.

Teth goes to school in Battambang, Cambodia

Close up of two smiling girlsWhen her parents were forced to go abroad to look for work, Teth had to go to live with her grandmother. Like many children in Battambang, Cambodia, Teth didn't go to school – her grandmother earned so little from selling fish and vegetables in the market that she couldn't afford the fees.

When teachers at the local SOS School found out about Teth's living conditions she was given a scholarship. Teth's grandmother was overjoyed to find not only the school fees covered, but also that Teth would be provided with a school uniform, books and stationery. If you ask Teth what she'd like to do when she grows up, she answers immediately: “I want to be a teacher! I want to help children like me to study and do well for their families.”

Together, we're equipping the next generation with knowledge and skills for life. Find out how you can transform a child's life.

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