Our impact

Over 70 years caring for children in over 100 countries

We have been supporting vulnerable children since 1949.

We work in 136 countries and territories across five continents.

Every day we help thousands of children around the world to secure a better future.

Together with our partners, we are leaders in the movement for children’s rights to ensure that quality care is a reality for all children and young people.

Early Intervention

By reaching out to vulnerable children and families early on, we can help transform their lives forever.

  • We work with communities to tackle the root causes of poverty so that children aren’t sent out to work, families don’t breakdown and children don’t end up on the streets.
  • In emergencies, we are the first to respond and we stay, helping to rebuild lives, because we believe that children deserve more than just survival.
  • It’s never too early for us to help. We support pregnant women, many trafficked and forced into prostitution to escape the poverty trap and provide a secure future for their children.

Strengthening families

Across the world families are at crisis point. Many are unable to feed their children. As a last and painful resort, they give them away.

  • We recognise that by helping families out of hardship, we can help them stay together.
  • We help them access services such as social housing, food, clothes, school supplies, healthcare and education.
  • We help with vocational training to find a job or financing to start a small business.
  • We provide parenting workshops to support children’s development and build nurturing and safe homes.
  • We provide family counselling and trauma support to help families heal and move forwards in their lives.

As a result, over 90% of participants in our family strengthening programmes succeed in fulfilling their parental obligations.

We think there’s a good market for selling our spices in nearby shops and markets. Like our parents, we are living in poverty. We want our children to have better chances in life, to be better educated.
Rani from India

Providing care for children

We are here for vulnerable children.

  • If a child is alone or is unable to stay with their family, we either provide them with a foster family or we care for them in a family-like environment in our SOS Villages and communities.
  • We aim to keep siblings together and maintain close links with family members for possible reunification later, if it is in the best interest of the child.
  • We provide health care and schooling right up to adulthood with an eye on future skills and employability so that all SOS Children have the opportunity to work and thrive.
  • We also provide extensive training to our SOS parents to ensure the safeguarding of all of the children.
  • In some countries in the world without any formal childcare services or family support, SOS Villages has provided a much needed safety net for thousands of children in need.
Children are not meant to be abandoned or thrown away. Someone needs to care for them.
Weliya Abbagelan & Teshome Mamo SOS Foster Parents

Systemic change and advocacy

We have been engaging in local advocacy for children’s rights in 92 countries.

  • We speak up for children on the international stage but also in national and local government.
  • We teach communities how to speak up for their children and protect them.
  • We listen to children and young people and encourage them to speak up for their rights by running innovative workshops to empower them.
  • Our advocacy work is designed to change policy and practice, and to improve national child and family welfare systems.

Recent examples of policy change we have achieved are:

Georgia: The National Parliament adopted the Child Rights Code, making the state legally responsible to provide support for care leavers.

Indonesia: We contributed to the drafting of the Ministerial Regulation of Social Affairs on Foster Care and the guidelines for the implementation of the government’s foster care pilot project.

Malawi: We successfully advocated for the development of the National Children’s Rights Policy which covers all areas of children’s lives including alternative care.

We have seen first-hand the remarkable job SOS does to raise children and keep families together. The SOS model of providing care for children without parental care is one of the best, as they are still in a family setting within their own country.
Angelina Jolie
Annual Report 2019

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Success Stories

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