OUR ROOTS

What we are

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, our organization has grown to help children all over the world.

We take action for children as an independent nongovernmental social development organization. We respect varying religions and cultures, and we work in countries and communities where our mission can contribute to development. We work in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and we promote these rights around the world.

SOS Concept based on 4 principles:


the mother

The Mother
Each child has a caring parent

The SOS mother builds a close relationship with every child entrusted to her, and provides the security, love and stability that each child needs. As a child-care professional, she lives together with her children, guides their development, and runs her household independently. She recognizes and respects each child’s family background, cultural roots and religion.

Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters
Family ties grow naturally

Girls and boys of different ages live together as brothers and sisters, with natural brothers and sisters always staying within the same SOS family. These children and their SOS mother build emotional ties that last a lifetime.

The House

The House
Each family creates its own home

The house is the family’s home, with its own unique feeling, rhythm and routine. Under its roof, children enjoy a real sense of security and belonging. Children grow and learn together, sharing responsibilities and all the joys and sorrows of daily life.

The Village

The Village
The SOS family is a part of the community

SOS families live together, forming a supportive village environment where children enjoy a happy childhood. The families share experiences and offer one another a helping hand. They also live as integrated and contributing members of the local community. Through his or her family, village and community, each child learns to participate actively in society.