SOS Children Ethiopia

SOS Children: Providing Ethiopia’s orphans the home they need

“A Loving Home for Every Child” – Motto written on a sign at the entrance of a SOS Children’s Village in Ethiopia.

SOS Children Ethiopia

A SOS Mother with one of her daughters.

One of the most heartwarming afternoons during my two-week trip to Ethiopia as a fellow for the International Reporting Project was spent visiting a SOS Children’s Village. SOS Children is an independent, non-governmental international development organization that provides loving homes for abandoned and orphaned children in 133 countries for almost 82,100 children. It was founded in 1949 by Austrian Hermann Gmeiner with the first SOS Children’s Village built in Imst, Austria as a home for children orphaned by World War II.

Today, SOS Children works to provide abandoned, destitute and orphaned children with a  loving, family based home. Every child in a SOS Village belongs to a family and is provided with a SOS Mother and “siblings” who are the other SOS Children living under the same roof. This allows the children to grow up in a family being loved and feeling secure. Within each village, there are up to fifteen families living together in a community and each family has up to ten children per house. It is a wonderful model and has had a huge impact on the children’s lives and futures.

SOS Children started working in Ethiopia in 1974 with the opening of the first village in Mekelle and over the years it has added six other villages caring for 1,645 children in SOS families. SOS Children’s education and training program unit has also benefited over 3,400 children and youth as well as children coming from the neighboring communities who are in need of services.

SOS Children Ethiopia

A child watches me curiously within one of SOS Ethiopia’s villages.

Africa Ethiopia Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD
Fountain of Hope, Zambia

Fountain of Hope: Bringing hope to Zambia’s street children

Over the past ten days, Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and Global Team of 200, has been in Zambia as an International Press Reporting fellow covering HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and how these diseases impact mothers and children. She was selected to report in Zambia along with nine other new media journalists, who have all covered these topics from different perspectives. It has been amazing reading all the stories about their work and learning more about the conditions in Zambia.

One of the places that Jennifer and the fellows visited that I found truly inspiring was the Fountain of Hope center in Lusaka, Zambia. The Fountain of Hope was founded in 1996 by a group of local Zambians as a way to help rehabilitate the growing population of street children in Zambia’s capital. In a country of 14 million, it has been estimated that there are 75,000 street children throughout the country and 2,000 alone in the nation’s capital Lusaka. Oftentimes these children spend their days on the streets, not going to school and doing whatever they can to feed themselves and stay alive.

Fountain of Hope, Zambia

Fountain of Hope Center (Photo thanks to Jennifer James).

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD