Life in a Children's Village
When a child has been orphaned or abandoned, we provide them with a loving family and new home in an SOS Children's Village.
Here they are part of a unique community and receive support until adulthood. Life in a Children's Village means a happy childhood!
What is a Children's Village?
- This is where the child you sponsor lives
- Here they are cared for by an SOS mother
- Your child grows up in an SOS family
- Several SOS families make a community
- All children receive holistic support from nursery to adulthood, including education and healthcare.
We also run community programmes in the neighbourhoods around Children's Villages. These enable families living in fragile circumstances to stay together so children can stay with their biological family. To see inside a Children's Village and enjoy a tour by the children living there, watch these videos from Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Sadly, a child becomes orphaned every 2.2 seconds, and many others lose parental care. Poverty, natural disaster, conflict and disease cause these children to have nothing and no-one.
When a child is vulnerable and alone, we welcome them into an SOS Children's Village. Here, they receive love, care and whatever support they need to flourish. Read stories of children in our Villages...
We believe children need long-term, loving and resilient relationships, and these are best developed in family environments. This is why children living in a Children's Village are cared for by an SOS mother, with whom they develop a close bond.
These extraordinary women are the primary carers for children growing up in Children's Villages. Learn more about SOS mothers...
Each SOS mother cares for a small group of children, and together they live as a family. SOS families are made up of boys and girls of all ages, who treat each other as brothers and sisters. We always ensure that birth siblings live together in one SOS family.
Every SOS family lives in a purpose-built house - each with its own character. These homes provide children with a safe space to grow together.
Several SOS families, often about twelve, live close together in a village structure. This way they can support one another, and children learn to participate actively in community life. We call these special communities SOS Children's Villages.
Although sharing common principles, each of our 560 Children's Villages are unique and fit in with their surrounding area and culture.
Children living in an SOS Village receive outstanding healthcare and education. When they reach their teenage years, many join an SOS Youth Home. Here, we help them to become independent, and to complete higher education or vocational training courses.
Learn more about how we support young people when they are ready to leave a Children's Village.
From SOS Children's Villages, we run community outreach programmes that support vulnerable families living in the local neighbourhood. These services aim to strengthen families and prevent children from becoming abandoned or orphaned.
Where possible, local families are welcomed to use SOS Nurseries, SOS Schools, SOS Medical Centres, and SOS Vocational Training Centres. SOS Children's Villages are fully integrated into the surrounding community.
What better way to learn what life is like in a Children's Village than by watching some short videos? These children and SOS mothers from our Children's Village in Tlokweng, Botswana proudly show you round their home.
Life in SOS Children's Village Waterfalls in Zimbabwe
Every Children's Village is slightly different, reflecting the local culture and needs of the children. These children would love to give you the grand tour of their SOS family home in Waterfalls, Zimbabwe.