SOS Children in Argentina
Overview of Argentina
Argentina is the second largest country in South America. It is rich in resources, has a well-educated workforce and is one of South America's largest economies, but economic collapse in 2001 left more than half the population in poverty as the country struggled with record debt defaults and currency devaluation.
Recovery is taking place, but for many Argentines the situation is still critical, especially the poorest members of society whose living conditions are deteriorating rather than improving. The number of people, particularly children, living below the poverty line is increasing.
Our Work in Argentina
At present we have four SOS Children’s Villages in Argentina, alongside three SOS Youth Homes, two SOS Nursery Schools, one SOS School and one SOS day-care centre.
Argentina's first SOS Children's Village opened in 1979 on the outskirts of Oberá, a town in the north-east, near the border with Paraguay. Initially built with six houses, the Village was later extended and now provides a home for up to 108 children. The Village has a farm which families can use to grow their own fruit and vegetables. There is an SOS Youth Home for older children where they can gain independence while still being under the care of us. The Village also has an SOS Nursery for up to 180 little children. An SOS School in the Village provides primary and secondary education for over 750 pupils, as well as vocational training and adult education evening classes. The schools are open to the public, providing facilities to support the local community.
Mar del Plata
Our second SOS Children's Village was built near Mar del Plata, a seaside resort on the Atlantic Coast about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires, in 1982. The Village site was moved to a more central location in 1997. SOS Children’s Village Mar del Plata has 10 family houses and an SOS Youth Home. In 2000, an SOS Nursery for up to 100 children was opened, which is also available to families in the neighbourhood. A playground and a sports ground in the Village give the children space to learn sports and to keep fit. We also run a day-care centre in Mar del Plata for children in the community, so that their parents can attend vocational training courses or go to work to support their families whilst knowing their children are safe.
Argentina's third SOS Children's Village opened in Córdoba in central Argentina in 2000. It has 12 family houses which are home to 108 children. The Village includes a sports ground and a multi-purpose hall for special events so that the community can celebrate together. There is also a house for SOS aunts, SOS mothers-in-training, who assist SOS mothers in their everyday work and care for the children when the mothers are sick. The children are educated at one of the several primary and secondary schools close to the village.
A fourth SOS Children’s Village opened in Luján, near Buenos Aires, in early 2008. The SOS Children's Village was built in the "Americano" district of Luján, which is one of the rather modest parts of the city. We currently care for approximately 70 children in 14 family houses. The Village has good transport links and children and youths living at the Village go to local public nurseries and schools. An SOS Community Centre runs Family Strengthening Programmes to support local families to stay together by providing childcare and vocational training for parents.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Argentina: Keeping Siblings Together
Pablo, aged 5, used to live on the streets, and arrived at SOS Children’s Village Luján a few weeks before his three younger siblings, due to legal reasons. Pablo could not wait to see his brothers: "The encounter was very touching," said his SOS mother Maria. "Little Pablo opened his deep black eyes with utmost delight. His lips stretched so as to express his enormous satisfaction. He was certainly the happiest child in the world." SOS Children is dedicated to keeping natural siblings together for life - and Pablo’s story shows us why.
Aldeas Infantiles SOS Argentina
Moreno 1850 5° Piso
Tel: +54/11/5238 3261
Fax: +54/11/5238 3263