SOS Children's Villages is the largest non-governmental, non-political, non-denominational charitable child welfare organisation in the world. Its mission is to build families for children in need, help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities. The first SOS Children's Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949 in Imst, Austria. 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. With the support of many donors and co-workers, the organisation has grown to help children all over the world.
Currently, SOS Children's Villages offers an effective alternative foster care through its services in the Family Based Care (FBC), and Family Strengthening (FS) Programme Units in 134 countries and territories around the world. It also supports educational programmes and medical centres and it is active in the field of child protection and child rights.
SOS Children's Villages started to work in Ethiopia in 1974 with the opening of the first SOS Children's Village in Mekelle. Six years later, the second SOS Children's Village became operational in Harar. In 1981, SOS Children's Village Addis Ababa was established as the third Village for Ethiopia. Between the years 1985- 2004, additional three SOS Children's Villages were established in Hawassa, Bahir Dar, and Gode, consecutively. The seventh SOS Children's Village Programme was also officially inaugurated in Jimma this year in March 2013.
In almost all programme locations, SOS Children's Villages Ethiopia has family based care, family strengthening, education and training, as well as health programme units. It has also implemented emergency and relief programme in Gode.
Currently, SOS Children's Villages Ethiopia cares for 1645 children in SOS families and nearly 3448 children in families of origin. Our education and training programme unit has also benefited over 3400 children and youth under our programmes as well as children coming from the neighbouring communities.