SOS Children’s Village
The SOS Children’s Village Association of South Africa is a member of SOS – Kinderdorf International, the largest private welfare organisation for children in the world, operating in 133 countries across the world.
SOS Children’s Villages began in 1949 when the founder Hermann Gmeiner built the first Children’s Village in Imst, Austria. He was committed to helping children in need – children who had lost their homes, security and families as a result of the Second World War.
With the support of many donors and co-workers, SOS Children’s Villages has grown to help more than 200 000 children worldwide, benefit from various residential, educational and developmental programmes.
Their Vision is that every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.
Their Mission is to build families for children in need, help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities.
The SOS Children’s Village Intervention in a nutshell is three fold providing Care, Education and Health. Through Care, they ensure that every child grows up in a caring family environment
- It includes direct essential services such as shelter, clothing, access to education and food.
- Building the capacities by developing parental skills, life skills training and providing psychosocial support.
- Where they advocate for child protection and child friendly laws.
Through Education they ensure that Children are educated for life
- By providing direct essential services linked to education which includes -Building or rehabilitating programmes around education; Provision of School Materials ;School feeding programmes
- By means of capacity building through tailor made leadership and teacher trainings; Parental Skills Development; Child rights education and school improvement approaches
- Advocating with regards to education as a right for every child
Through Health – they ensure that Children grow up healthy
- By providing links with medical providers
- Build capacities by facilitating programmes on prevention
- Advocating for the rights of children based on issues affecting the children in their programmes.
Establishment of the SOS Children’s Village in Rustenburg was endorsed by both the then Minister of Social Development (Dr. Zola Skweyiya) and by the Directorate: Community Development, Rustenburg District and Local Municipality in February 2005.
The Rustenburg SOS Children’s Village is a collection of ten (10) family houses located in Pooe Street, Tlhabane West Area. The village is fully integrated within the Tlhabane West community. Its purpose is to provide a permanent family environment for children who have lost their parents or whose parents are unable to suitably care for them. Each child is given a caring parent, an SOS Mother, who builds a close relationship with every child entrusted to her, and provides the security, love and stability that each child needs for their sound development.
Children are accepted in SOS from infancy and they stay until they are able to begin independent life. Whenever appropriate, the SOS Children’s Village maintains contact with the biological family from which the child comes. Currently in SOS Rustenburg, is taking care of 85 children, 41 boys and 44 girls, with their age ranging from 9 months to 21 years. Currently they are taking care of 100% black children and have 10 SOS Mothers and 5 Assistant Mothers. All children are in crèches and schools around this area, except those who are still toddlers, and they are encouraged to interact with the community in which they live. Their educational stats are as follows:
At crèche – 5 children Primary school – 35 children
Middle school – 16 children High school – 11 children
Special school – 4 children Tertiary – 14 children
Family-Strengthening Programme (FSP) supports the development of community-based responses to the situation of orphaned and vulnerable children. The development work focuses on preventing children from being abandoned or orphaned – and where they are, SOS strengthens the capacity of their families and communities to care for them. One of our goals is to help people meet the needs of children and young adults living in communities most affected by HIV/AIDS. The programme is established in a disadvantaged community of Sunrise Park, which is 18 km radius from the FBC Programme. SOS has 600 beneficiaries (children) in 150 families in this programme currently. The target group is made up of children who: are living with a chronically /terminally-ill parent (AIDS or another life threatening condition); have already lost one or both parents (due to AIDS or any other cause); are living in an orphaned household (household sheltering one or more orphans).
Donations made by RustMo1 Solar Farm to SOS Children’s Village include 10 deep freezers to be used in the SOS family houses and 10 bar fridges to be used by the SOS youth studying at FET Colleges. The donations made benefited 100% black people.