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Our History

SOS Children’s Villages Liberia through the years

Our History

SOS Children’s Villages through the years.

SOS Children’s Villages in Liberia is a member association of SOS Children’s Villages International, an international non-governmental organization that has been active in the field
of children’s rights and committed to the needs and concerns of children since
1981. Our work focus on children without parental care and children at risk.
The organization has a wide range of programmes in Monrovia and Buchanan which
include two (2) children’s villages, a youth facility, kindergarten,
high school, a renowned medical center, and family strengthening
programmes in Monrovia and Buchanan.

SOS Children’s Villages Liberia started operations in Liberia on 1st January, 1981 following an agreement between the Government of Liberia and SOS Children’s Villages International. The first Children’s Village was opened in Monrovia, Montserrado County.

The second Children’s Village was open in Juah Town, Grand Bassa County. Construction was completed 1989 and operations started effectively in the year 2000.

A third Children’s Village location was conceived to be located at Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County. The construction of the facilities could not be done due to the 2008 global financial crisis.

A Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) was operated in Sinje from 2010 to 2014. The Sinje FSP closed as a result of the impact of an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease that ravaged the entire country.

Over 1,820 children and families are provided with optimal quality care and relevant education through synergy of all SOS Programmes by implementing the One Program Policy and prepare children to lead independent life.

Additionally, we build the capacities of over 900 families to prevent family separations, increase quality care for over 1,500 programme participants and engage partners for economic empowerment towards self-sufficiency/sustainability.

From December 2017 to present 90 percent of our programme participants are empowered through academic, professional and vocational career training for equal employment opportunities on the labour market.

1949: SOS Children’s Villages is founded in Austria by Hermann Gmeiner, with the first SOS Children’s Village based in Imst, Austria.
1955: The first SOS Youth Facility is established in Innsbruck, Austria. SOS Children’s Villages associations are founded in FranceGermany and Italy.

1960s: SOS Children’s Villages International is established as the umbrella organisation for all SOS Children’s Villages associations; SOS Children’s Villages begins working in Latin America, starting with Uruguay.

1963: The first SOS Children’s Villages in Asia are established in South Korea and India.

1970s: The first African SOS Children’s Village is built in Côte d’Ivoire; the first programmes are started in Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

1985: Helmut Kutin succeeds Hermann Gmeiner as President of SOS Children’s Villages International.

1986: Hermann Gmeiner dies on 26 April 1986, having established around 230 SOS Children’s Villages all over the world. Both SOS Children’s Villages and Hermann Gmeiner himself have been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

1991: SOS Children’s Villages reopens in Czechoslovakia, and the first SOS Children’s Villages in Poland and the Soviet Union are started; SOS Children’s Villages programmes are started in Bulgaria and Romania; the first SOS Children’s Village in the USA is founded.

1995: SOS Children’s Villages International achieves UN status, becoming an “NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations“.

2002: SOS Children’s Villages International receives the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for extraordinary contributions towards alleviating human suffering.

2003: SOS Children’s Villages family strengthening programmes are established.

2005: Following the tsunami disaster in Asia, SOS Children’s Villages starts the largest emergency relief and reconstruction programme in the organisation’s history, with programmes in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand.

2007: SOS Children’s Villages helps victims of natural disasters in Bolivia, Indonesia, Peru and Uruguay, as well as those displaced in the crisis-torn regions of Sudan, Chad and Somalia. SOS family strengthening programmes now reach 80,000 children.

2009: The 500th SOS Children’s Village is opened and the organisation turns 60. The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, to which SOS Children’s Villages significantly contributed, are officially welcomed by the UN General Assembly.

2010: Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, over 500 unaccompanied children are given a temporary home in the SOS Children’s Villages in Santo and Cap Haitien. Thousands of Haitian children are fed through the SOS Children’s Villages emergency nutrition programme.

2012: In June, SOS Children’s Villages International holds its 19th General Assembly and elects Siddhartha Kaul to succeed Helmut Kutin as president.

2013: Over 82,000 children and young people are being raised and cared for in 554 SOS Children’s Villages and over 600 SOS youth facilities worldwide. Another 328,000 children and adults benefit from SOS family strengthening.

2014: SOS Children’s Villages associations from 11 countries share good practices in creating community-integrated family strengthening and family-like care programmes in urban settings; SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar is awarded a UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for outstanding teacher training; and international football start Vincent Kompany becomes International Ambassador.

2015: In response to the refugee crisis, SOS Children’s Villages provides on-the-ground aid to refugees, internally displaced families and unaccompanied children in at least 12 countries.

2016: In June, Siddhartha Kaul is reelected President of SOS Children’s Villages International at its 20th General Assembly. In September, SOS Children’s Villages receives the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord from the Royal Family in Spain.