SOS Children is the world’s largest orphan charity. We directly help over 70,000 children in our family-based SOS Children's Villages in 124 countries around the world. We give children who have nothing and no one a family, a home, an education and a future.
There are 576 SOS Social Centres – 152 in Africa, 169 in Latin America, 115 in Asia and 89 in Eastern Europe, the rest are in Western Europe. Between them they help over 150,000 orphaned and vulnerable children and their families. SOS Social Centres help families, especially women and children, to escape from the poverty trap. Many of these are interchangeable with Family Strengthening Programmes. They also help young people to become independent. In addition they help communities to help themselves. Each SOS Social Centre is designed to meet local needs. For example in Belarus, the SOS Social Centre helps children and families affected by radiation sickness after the nuclear reactor disaster at Chernobyl in 1986.
In Africa, SOS Children operates many SOS Medical Centres, more than anywhere else in the world. Additionally, there are many SOS Social Centres. SOS Children runs Medical Centres across Africa.
In Africa HIV/AIDS is a major concern. SOS Medical Centres provide anti-retroviral drugs for local communities, whilst both SOS Medical and SOS Social Centres run family planning programmes, to educate and promote HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment and prevention.
Examples of Work in SOS Centres in Africa (2009):
- At the SOS Social Centre in Tambacounda, Senegal, the school going rate in the project catchment area has risen from 6% in 2008 to 56% at the end of last year.
- At the SOS Medical Centre in Benguela, Angola, a Pediatric and Pre-Natal Unit was added in 2009, to help combat the country's high infant mortality rate.
- At the SOS Social Centre in N'Djamena, Chad, 14 volunteers have been offering psychosocial counselling to children and families