What is Great and Cool About SOS Children's Villages ...

"For over half a century, SOS Children's Villages has been a safe home to thousands of children in need in over 132 countries including the Philippines. Its family-based, holistic approach in providing stable, long-term residential care and education to children outside of their biological families is impressively great.

I have the opportunity to visit and see for myself the quality of life of orphaned and neglected children in the Philippines. Without SOS Children's Villages I couldn't help but imagine how many children would have been homeless, living desperate lives throughout the world without this great institution. In the Philippines alone, and for over 43 years, SOS Children's Villages' presence in eight major regions stand as a loving home for every child.

The countless stories of hopes and dreams fulfilled are heartening, awesome and so cool! There is a bright future for each child who lives in one of the SOS Children's Villages – a foster child who is now a doctor, a wish to soar and fly now a dream fulfilled as a pilot, an abandoned homeless child now an architect of his own dreams, and many more inspirational stories that touched my heart. Indeed, the name Save Our Souls is so true. This great institution does save children's lives, provides a home, and more - a gift of family who nurtures the fragile mind, heart and soul of a child in need.”

Imelda Roberts
June 2010

About SOS Children's Villages

SOS Children's Villages is a private, non-political, non-denominational welfare organization providing long-term residential care and education to children in need. It was founded by the late Professor Hermann Gmeiner in Austria in 1949. Orphaned by his mother at the tender age of 5, he knew early on the importance of a mother-child relationship and how this greatly contributes to the development of a child's being. Initiated by his own personal experience as a child, this gave birth to SOS Children's Villages. This concept was born out of Dr. Gmeiner's conviction that help for orphaned and neglected children can only be effective when they grow up within a family and a home. To date, there are more than 2,000 facilities and programmes in 132 countries including the Philippines. They operate with the following objectives.

  • To strengthen the family as a basic unit of society in recognition of its vital role in child development and nation building.
  • To give free access to quality and long-term education to children in relation to his/her rights as a child as well as develop his/her potentials and make use of it to the fullest.
  • To provide adequate social services and varied opportunities to low income families in order to help them achieve a better quality life.
  • To help improve both individually and collectively the economic and vocational perspectives within local communities.

Vision and Mission

Vision – Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.

Mission – Build families for children in need, Help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities.

Guiding Principles

The Mother – Each family house is headed by an SOS Mother. She is a single woman fully committed to live in the house with the children entrusted to her care and is their primary source of love and security.

Brothers and Sisters – Each SOS family consists of 8 to 10 children, boys and girls of various ages, who live with their SOS Mother like a natural family.  Siblings are not separated when they arrive at the village but are cared for in one and the same family unit.

The House – The family house gives the child warmth, security, and protection within its walls being their home for long-term care.  Everyday life together in the familiar setting of the family house is the basis for a full and happy family relationship.  Children see their SOS Mother looking after the home and addressing the concerns of family life.

The Village – The SOS Children’s Villages are models of modern child care based on the concept of a family style of upbringing where the children are provided with a permanent home within a family.  It consists of 8 to 14 family houses with the Village Director serving as the foster father to all the children in the village. 

What It Does Well

SOS Children's Villages focuses on family-based, long-term care of children who can no longer grow up with their biological families. At SOS Children's Villages and SOS Youth Facilities they experience reliable relationships and love once again, meaning that they can recover from what they have experienced, which has often been traumatic. They grow up in a stable family environment, and are supported individually until they become independent young adults.

It extends its work with families through these programs by working with and for disadvantaged families to prevent crisis that can, in the worst case scenario, lead to children being placed in out-of-home care. SOS Children's Villages offers various forms of support to strengthen and stabilize families as much as possible so that they can once again manage their lives independently and care for their children. It's Family Strengthening Programs are an important way of building on the families' and communities' resources, their ability to self-organise themselves and their responsibility for the well-being of the children.

Equal rights to education and training for children are another important area of our work. Pre-school care for children, schooling and vocational training are the key to the future. To ensure that children enjoy these basic rights, SOS Children's Villages has kindergartens, day-care centres, schools and vocational training centers.

SOS Children's Villages is concerned about all children, particularly those who have no parental care and those whose families have to live in difficult conditions. The basis and aim of its work is to respect, promote and stand up for children's rights. It wants to use our socio-political work to make decision makers and the public aware of the problems that children face and to call for measures that will promote the well-being of children across the world. In parallel to its lobbying activities, it encourages children to actively take part in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and, if possible, to actually represent themselves.

When It Started in the Philippines

SOS Children’s Villages Philippines was founded on February 29, 1964.  Dr. Gmeiner introduced this new concept of childcare when he visited the country in 1963 together with the late Austrian Consul, Dr. George V. Winternitz, and his wife, Susie.  For the past 43 years since then, SOS Children’s Villages Philippines has established eight villages in the different regions of the country – Lipa, Calbayog, Tacloban, Cebu, Davao, Manila, Iloilo and the newest in Bataan.

Contact Information

Mr. Bienvenido L. Delgado
National Director
SOS Children’s Villages Philippines
National Office
Mindanao Drive, Ayala Alabang Village
1780 Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.                                                  :     (02) 807-0764; 799-3475
Fax No.                                                  :     (02) 850-9654
Email                                                     :     home@sosphilippines.org
Website                                                 :     www.sosphilippines.org


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Imelda Roberts visit at SOS Chiclren's Village in Cebu.
Imelda Roberts paid a surprise visit to SOS Children's Village-Cebu. It turned out to be more of a surprise program for her and her company. With Imelda are Roxanne Barcelo, Susan Vidal and SOS Kids. Please click photo to see more.
Children from SOS Children's Village Tacloban. Boys and girls of different ages grow up like brothers and sisters.

Children from SOS Children's Village Tacloban. Boys and girls of different ages grow up like brothers and sisters.
Mothers from the nearby community are members of the Mother's Club of SOS Children's Village Davao . Livelihood programs like bag-making are taught to these mothers to earn additional income.

Mothers from the nearby community are members of the Mother's Club of SOS Children's Village Davao . Livelihood programs like bag-making are taught to these mothers to earn additional income.

A FSP mother beneficiary attends livelihood skills training like cosmetic session.

A FSP mother beneficiary attends livelihood skills training like cosmetic session.

A typical SOS family from SOS Children's Village Tacloban . The SOS mother loves and guides her children.

A typical SOS family from SOS Children's Village Tacloban. The SOS mother loves and guides her children.
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