Monday, January 17, 2011

SOS children’s villages: offering real child sponsorship

i am very happy to be sponsoring 2 children (siblings) through the SOS Children's Villages, Guinea Bissau, Africa. i did quite a bit of research before deciding on which charity to support.

SOS was founded in 1949 and provides services in 132 countries around the world. What sets SOS apart for me, is their sponsorship program and the unique family home setting they provide for each child in their care. 

SOS Vision:
"We offer real child sponsorship, the way we think it should be done. Our sponsors and donors help children whose parents are not there for them. They may be AIDS orphans, street children, child soldiers or children orphaned by war, poverty or natural disasters. We give these children a mother and a family in a home within an SOS Children’s Village. Donations pay to build the Villages and run them until child sponsors cover the running costs. Where family life is at risk (for example where parents in Africa have AIDS), we run programmes to help strengthen families and keep them together.

Although we are always trying to improve it, our working model is very simple. We take groups of seven to ten (less in the developed world) children alone and put them together with a permanent resident SOS mother to make a family for life. We group a dozen or so SOS families like this together in a Village and then work out from this centre to try to help the wider community with the facilities needed. If there is no adequate medical care, we provide it, if no school we build one, if there are families on the edge nearby (child headed families etc) we support them. 

Our strategic goal for the next eight years is to help a million child sponsors give a million children a family for life. Of these, one hundred thousand children will be given a new family and home in an SOS Children's Village. Nine hundred thousand children, who might otherwise be street children, will be able to grow up within their own (extended) family with our support”

you don't have to be rich to give to a charity and of course SOS is not the only child sponsorship organization around. if you are interested in helping a child through a charitable organization, it is important to do your homework. in a later post i will give you some tips i think are important for you to know before you send your hard earned money to a  charity.

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