SOS Children's Villages has close affinities with the archetypal significance of the mother. A mother stands for love, protec-tion, security and developmental support for children. She is the very foundation of the family.
“Motherhood” represents this archetypal re¬lationship with children. For us, it is a social skill, completely independent of gender. In view of this, the number of SOS fathers and SOS couples who are becoming an indis-pensable part of our programmes is increas¬ing.
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children have a home where (1). they feel they belong and can develop their identity (2). their needs are recognised and taken seriously (3). they live in stable, reliable relationships (4). they feel at home and can build up relationships based on trust (5). they can live and share with others (6). everyday experiences are shared, in good and bad times (7). they can return anytime. These human qualities are what makes the “home” we offer so distinct. They are far more important to us than luxury.
The specific strength of SOS Children’s Vil¬lages lies in the quality of its relationships.Children and adolescents experience the value of a reliable, resilient relationship by living with their guardians and, beyond that, through many other relationships. All contact with children is marked by openness, appreciation,trust and an understanding of the child's in¬dividuality. This in turn strengthens the chil-dren's self-esteem, self-confidence and trust in adults. SOS Children's Villages accepts each child unconditionally and opens avenues for them to accept themselves and come to terms with their history and find inner peace.
Siblings should be together so that they can develop lifelong emotional attachments. Chil¬dren without parents find the familial support for which they long in their siblings. This is the reason why SOS Children's Villages does all it can to ensure that biological brothers and sisters can live together.
Childhood is the time of growing and learning. During this phase of their lives, children have experiences with long-lasting effects, develop their talents and acquire essential skills. Having a proper education means hav¬ing a future. Through education, we give chil¬dren the best possible conditions to ease their passage into the adult world.
SOS Children’s Villages assists children in recognising and developing their individual skills, interests and talents. SOS Children’s Villages encourages children to develop their creative gifts. In this way, we open up areas in which they can search and experiment, and offer them the necessary orientation. Clearly defined structures and the positive example of adults provide them with security and a stable footing. The children are directly involved in decisions affecting their lives and their future. They are encouraged to play a signifi¬cant role in their own development. Children should be able to grow up in a community. They should have the opportunity to contrib¬ute to the community and to experience the value of living with other people.
SOS Children’s Villages supports children through the various stages of development from childhood to adulthood. We devote special attention to questions of youth about education, finding a vocation and standing on their own two feet.
SOS Technical High School, Kigali. School Website
Independent of age, gender and culture, child¬hood is a special time in anyone's life. It has a value of its own and determines the child's future direction. SOS Children's Villages provides the framework for a childhood that pays attention to children's needs. In view of the often traumatic backgrounds of many of the children in SOS Children's Villages, enor¬mous importance is attached to re-awakening their joy of living and to making the most of the child's resources and environment.SOS Children's Villages is able to profoundly touch adults' emotions. Our concept is linked with the longings and memories - but also the fears - of childhood which we all carry within ourselves. Our work gives people the impetus to go in search of the inner child, the oldest voice we have inside us.