For 30 years, SOS Children’s Villages has been making an impact on the lives of so many people, more especially children in South Africa. 1982 marked the founding of the national association “SOS Children’s Village Association of South Africa”. Since then, SOS Children’s Villages has been serving the greater good in South Africa, starting with our greatest hope, the children.
The SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa is a member of SOS – Kinderdorf International, the largest private welfare organisation for children in the world. Over 200 000 children benefit from the various residential, educational and developmental programmes operating in 135 countries. Former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among the most prominent advocates of SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa.
8 Children’s Villages and 3 SOS Social Centres located around South Africa offer care and support for the children under their care. Ennerdale, the first village to be established in South Africa, was built in 1983 in what was then a “coloured” township south of Johannesburg city centre. The Ennerdale village consists of 16 family houses and is currently home to 158 children. Other villages are in Mamelodi, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mthatha, Nelspruit and Rustenburg. The SOS Children’s Villages broke down barriers by caring for children of all races by multi-racial SOS mothers, which prior to 1992 had been impossible under apartheid.
Further to this, with the prevalence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa, SOS established community-based childcare and support programmes at all SOS Children’s Villages to provide practical assistance for children most affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
SOS’s 3 social centres include the Mathanjana Social Centre in Mpumalanga, the Sekhukhune Social Centre in Limpopo province and the Qwa Qwa Social Centre in the Free State. In 2002, these social centres launched Family Strengthening programmes, which expand SOS’s reach beyond its children’s village operations to prevent children from becoming orphaned and abandoned, and falling out of the family environment. These programmes provide support to families caring for orphans and vulnerable children, with the aim of keeping these children in their families and communities of origin.
Siphiwe Maphanga, The National Director, SOS Children’s Villages South Africa, proudly comments “30 years, it has been a wonderful journey indeed! I would like to personally thank our friends for your continued support, we could not have achieved as much as we have without you. We look forward to many more successful years of providing a loving home to every child.”
While pleased with the impact SOS Children’s Villages has made in so many lives, Leigh Swartz, Fund Development Manager for SOS, says “We rely greatly on sponsorship and contributions in order to maintain these pioneering programmes in the community. We implore South Africans to keep supporting SOS as they have for the past 30 years.”
The anniversary will be observed throughout the course of 2012 with various roadshows, events, information-sharing sessions, fundraising events and awareness campaigns forming part of the celebrations. Keep an eye on the press for details of when and where these events will take place and how you can get involved. The South African public, as well as corporates and media owners are urged to contact Leigh Swartz or the Village Director in your area to find out more about what’s going to be happening and how you can get involved. All financial contributions and opportunities for publicity, partnerships and joint celebrations are welcome and greatly appreciated.
One easy way of giving is to SMS SOS to 42975 (this way you will donate R30).
Contact SOS in Port Elizabeth to get involved.