Who we are

SOS Children’s villages International is an international non-governmental organization for social protection, dedicated to protecting and applying the children’s rights since 1949, the year when the first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Imst, Austria.

We have been working for almost 70 years to protect and care the children who have lost parental care, and for those at risk of losing it. We work with communities, partners and states to ensure that the rights of all children, in every society, are fulfilled.

The organization has been expanding exponentially with the support of a large number of donators and collaborators and it currently provides help to children all over the world. In 135 countries and territories, the main focus of the activities of the international organization SOS Children’s villages is to provide support to children without parents and parental care and children at risk of losing the care from their families.

The main focus of SOS Children’s villages is providing family-based, long-term care for children who have lost the opportunity to grow with their biological families. They can find security, love and a loving home again in SOS Children’s villages and by participating in the programs for youth care. Thus, they will grow up in a stable family environment and they will receive continuous individual support until they become independent young persons.

SOS Children’s villages provide support to all children at risk, particularly children without parents and parental care and children with parents who live in difficult conditions. The foundation and the goal of the work performed by the organization is respect, promotion and raising the awareness of the children’s rights.

Through its own activities, SOS Children’s villages strives to inform the general public and all partners and collaborators about the problems that children face and calls for action to promote children welfare worldwide. Along with the lobbying activities, children are encouraged to actively participate in the decision-making processes which shall have an effect on their lives, and if possible, to represent themselves.





SOS Children’s villages respect the cultural and religious varieties with its work in countries and communities where the mission of the organization can contribute to development. The work of SOS Children’s villages is in the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is promoted around the world.

SOS Children’s villages offer various forms of support with the goal of strengthening and stabilizing families to the greatest possible extent so that they are able again to manage independently their own lives and to provide care for their children. The family strengthening programs are very effective in terms of supporting the improvement of the resources of the families and communities, their self-organization capabilities and their responsibility for children welfare.

Currently, we provide care for 81 700 children and young people without parental care in 551 SOS Children’s villages, worldwide.