To foster every child to be a useful person in society
SOS Kinderdorf was founded in 1949 by an Austrian, Hermann Gmeiner, in response to the needs of the may European children orphaned by World War II. A first residential facility for orphans was opened in Imst, Austria, in 1949. In 1963, a first ‘children’s village’ was built outside of Europe, in Korea. By 2004, the organisation had established 1,613 institutions and projects in 131 countries where SOS Kinderdorf works, joining an international network coordinated from Vienna.Work in China began in 1984, in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, which provides co-funding for the orphan care projects. The first two ‘children’s villages’ were established in Yantai (Shandong) and Tianjin. By 2004, a total of nine ‘villages’ had been established, providing homes for around 1,200 children, along with a school in Yantai and a vocational school in Qiqihar.
SOS Kinderdorf sets out to provide a lasting home in a secure and caring environment. The specially constructed ‘village’ communities comprise about 15 apartments, in each of which 6-9 children live under the care of a housemother.
The children attend local schools. SOS Kinderdorf provides grants for higher education to children in the villages who obtain college places.
In 2002, SOS Kinderdorf’s international network mobilized a total of EUR 186.4 million. Private supporters of the organisation contributed 91.3% of this in donations, regular sponsorship or bequests.