‘SOS’ stands for Societas Socialis. In 1949, Hermann Gmeiner and his supporters founded the Societas Socialis, a social club with the goal of raising funds for the care of orphaned children in Austria. A year later, the name was changed to SOS Children’s Villages. To Hermann Gmeiner and his supporters, ‘SOS’ meant a socially responsible society. They believed that every child deserves a mother, as well as brothers and sisters, a home, and a supportive community environment.
Orphaned and abandoned children are admitted to the Children’s Villages through the Children’s Court process. SOS Botswana notifies the referral social welfare officers when they have vacancies – but it is the Children’s Court that issues a court order for the child to be removed from their harmful environment to SOS Children’s Village.
Every effort is made to ensure that the children placed in an SOS family are those who are going to benefit most from its care. Only children who need a new place of safety in a family environment and for whom a more suitable care placement cannot be found are considered for admission into an SOS family. Generally speaking, children up to the age of ten can be admitted. However, when a group of siblings is admitted, group members’ ages may vary.
We care for all children in need of alternative care. If a special needs child is a child in need of care, and SOS Children’s Village is the suitable place, we source the best possible care for them.
Although the Children’s Act says a child is someone up to the age of 18, there is no specific age at which children have to leave the SOS Children’s Village. Usually, they stay in the care of SOS Children’s Villages until they are capable of looking after themselves, or until they can be reintegrated with their biological families. Many of our youth remain in touch with their SOS family – either because a younger biological sibling is still there, or simply because this is the only home they have known.
No. SOS offers permanent care to the child that has already been through a lot. All other options of care would have failed, therefore, any requests for adoptions are referred to the Department of Social Protection under the ministry of local government and rural development.
In most cases, SOS families are headed by SOS mothers but in some countries, fathers or couples head an SOS family. Over the past few years, some married couples have taken responsibility for SOS Children’s Village families in a number of European countries.
Should an SOS mother consider getting married, we would always try to find an appropriate solution so that she can continue working as an SOS mother.
There are many male employees at an SOS Children’s Villages who are able to act as role models, and assist in the holistic development of the child.
The SOS Mothers are recruited, after which they undergo four months of mother training course. All due diligence is taken to ensure the safety of children. These include police clearance and fitness checks.
SOS Botswana accommodates visitors to their Villages. In order to minimize the disruption of families routine and schooling/sporting activities, however, prior arrangements need to be made with the Village you wish to visit.
Yes, the government gives SOS Botswana some subsidy funding. In order to receive this, SOS Children’s Villages always produces a financial report and audited accounts of the previous year.
Each national association is expected to raise funds within the country of operation, wherever possible. SOS Botswana survives on donations from individuals and companies for both financial and in-kind donations.
Children need friends. Friends to share the responsibility for their well-being now and in the future. Rather than leaving destitute children to their own devices and a life of hopelessness and poverty, your contribution will make it possible for us to train and educate these children in caring family environments. You can assist us to teach them to help themselves.
There are many ways of furthering the aims of SOS Botswana. For instance:
- Monthly contributions as a friend of SOS.
- Sponsorship of a specific project.
- Donations, large or small.
- Bequests, legacies.
All friends of SOS receive regular information on all progress made.
You can make your donations here.
Tlokweng SOS Village
Serowe SOS Village
Francistown SOS Village