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Keeping Families together

SOS Child in Lithuania

For five decades SOS Children has had a primary focus of helping children with no parental care (orphans, abandoned babies, wards of court etc.). The original SOS Children's model for doing this has been an SOS Children's Village, where groups of children are permenantly placed with a new professional mother, who is trained to help children from difficult backgrounds and build a family. This model is continually improved has proven hugely successful in terms of outcomes compared to other out of home care but is a "last resort" solution for a child. Better where possible is to provide the means for children who would otherwise be on the street to stay with their own families. This may mean supporting young single mothers in traditional Middle Eastern countries where they are stigamatised, providing support for older Aids orphans so that they can stay at home and support their younger siblings or providing treatment and training for a young parent with Aids to maintain their family together.These "family strengthening programmes" started in 2000 and are already been rolled out in over a hundred countires because of their success.

This is the essence of a "family programme": providing the means of keeping children with their own family. Our vision for 2016 is to keep a million more children in a proper family: 100,000 in our Children's Villages and 900,000 in their original family in the community. At present we do not offer children who are on our family strengthening programmes, at our 192 schools or who benefit from our hundreds of medical and social centres for sponsorship. However as the proportion of this part of our work expands we are thinking it through. At present we think the child sponsorship we offer is rather distinctive and special and offering children whom we help on a project would mean offering a sponsorship more like other charities.

Sponsoring a Village

However, you can help the children outside our child sponsorship programme by sponsoring an SOS Children’s Village. But, your support isn’t just about money. It can be a very special feeling for the children that you’re helping to know that someone, even on the other side of the world, is thinking about them and cares for their well-being.

As a village sponsor you’ll receive photos of the village and the children living there, as well as detailed, twice yearly, reports on everyday life in the village.

Here are some words from a sponsor:
"It has made me so happy that these children are getting a great opportunity and knowing I am a small part of it."
John Wise, who sponsors in the SOS Children’s Village in Tirana in Albania.

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Sponsoring a child with SOS Children can give a child in a desperate situation with no hope for the future a new start in life.