SOS Children's Villages began in 1949 in Austria and more than six decades later, we are now active in 137 countries and territories in the world. SOS Children's Villages Philippines was founded in 1967 in Lipa City, Batangas and has now grown in 8 locations across the country. Since our humble beginning, we stay committed up to now to ensuring that every child and family get the care and support they need.
A child care worker named Hermann Gmeiner founded the first SOS Children’s Village in Tyrol, Austria. After seeing how many children were orphaned and neglected after World War II, he committed to building loving homes by pioneering the family-like care approach for children who have lost parental care.
SOS Children's Villages started work in the Philippines thanks to Austrian Ambassador Dr. George Winternitz and his wife, Mrs. Susie Winternitz. After seeing how successful the family-like care model in Austria, the couple planned to bring it in the Philippines. They started gathering support from their friends and other like-minded individuals.
The first SOS Children's Village in the Philippines was established in Banay-banay, Lipa City with strong supporters from the Catholic Church.
SOS Children's Villages Philippines moved south and founded a children's village in Tigbao, Tacloban City.
The 3rd children's village opened in Dagum, Calbayog City in the province of Samar, one of the most economically depressed provinces in the country.
As more children needed family-like care, another children's village began operating in Talamban, Cebu City. Aboitiz Foundation provided the land.
Shortly after opening in Cebu City, SOS Children's Villages Philippines moved further down south by establishing a children's village in Davao City. The land was donated by the Archdiocese of Davao.
As the nation's capital was becoming more urbanized, more children were needing family-like care. SOS Children's Villages Philippines responded by establishing a children's village in Metro Manila. It was located in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. The National Office was also built beside the children's village.
SOS Children's Villages in Zaragga Iloilo was established. It opened with 12 Family Houses in land donated by the Archdiocese of Jaro, Iloilo.
With the new approach towards community integration, the 8th and most recent children's village built in Mariveles, Bataan may not be considered a village anymore. Dubbed as the Village of Tomorrow, it is situated in a residential area where non-SOS families also live.
Family Strengthening Program was started. By supporting vulnerable families, it aims to prevent family breakdown which leads to child neglect and abandonment.
SOS Children's Villages Philippines became financially independent and has stopped receiving subsidies from its international offices. As it continues to reach more children, its sustainability also depends greatly on the financial support from its donors and partners.
You can check this short comic to see the humble beginnings of SOS Children's Villages.