SOS Children’s Villages International is an independent non-governmental social development organisation which was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949. He was committed to helping children in need – children who had lost their homes, their security and their families as a result of the Second World War.
His idea of a loving home for every child, was to give every abandoned and orphaned child a mother, siblings, a house and a village where it could grow up in comfort like any other child.
From these four guiding principles a globally operating organisation was born, financed primarily by private donations. Today there are 567 Children’s Villages and more than 1,947 SOS facilities such as kindergartens, schools, as well as youth homes, vocational training centres and social centres. There are medical centres, emergency relief projects in addition to SOS family strengthening programmes operating in 134 countries. Approximately 1,5 million children and their relatives are supported by the SOS Children’s Villages around the world.