70 years of SOS Children’s Village
For children to develop into independent, courageous and responsible people, they need a loving home. The concept of SOS Children’s Village allows them to grow up in a warm and dignified environment, and has been helping children for 70 years – in Austria and in another 134 countries.
Overall, SOS Children’s Village runs over 570 SOS Children‘s Villages, and assists with more than 1500 further offers, such as kindergartens, schools, social centres, medical centres and emergency programmes. The SOS Children’s Village reaches a total of around 880,000 children and young people, as well as their caregivers. Thanks to this incredible multitude of offers, every child receives the help that he or she needs for their individual situation.
Thanks to this incredible multitude of offers, every child receives the help that he or she needs or their individual situation.
Since 2008, Bank Austria has been supporting the SOS Children’s Village in Austria. In 10 villages, Bank Austria took over a home sponsorship for a family. In this way, Bank Austria accompanies children and young people on their path to independence, and makes an important contribution to maintain the SOS Children’s Village families. Yet the support extends far beyond the financial contribution. In many federal states there are now close personal contacts between committed employees and SOS Children’s Village families. Thanks to regular visits, joint excursions, and gifts for the children, these contacts are continuously cultivated. This leads not only to radiant looks in the eyes of children but also to a lot of joy on the part of all adults.
“Over many years and decades, this has become an important and mature part of our entrepreneurial culture. Many committed employees support these initiatives additionally through private donations and voluntary activity. As one of the leading domestic large banks, we want to give back something of our success to society – and we do precisely that through our cooperation with such well-known charitable organisations as SOS Children’s Village.”
Robert Zadrazil, chairman of Bank Austria
In the SOS-Kinderdorf in Seekirchen, another family is happy about a new home sponsorship.
In this way, Bank Austria is continuing its commitment after 10 years.
“Home” is not just a place, it’s also a feeling: a feeling of security and warmth. Children who have lost their parents or cannot live with them anymore find this feeling in the SOS Children’s Villages.
In 10 villages, Bank Austria has taken over sponsorship for a family, each of which are taken care of by a Children’s Village mother or a Children’s Village father and specially trained psychologists.
Sponsorship in Salzburg extended
Now, after the first 10 years, Bank Austria has further extended its sponsorship in the SOS Children’s Village of Seekirchen, in Salzburg. After the children have grown up and the Children’s Village mother has retired, a family with six small children ranging in age from 4 to 9 years is immediately supported.
About the SOS Children’s Village in Seekirchen
10 families live in the SOS Children’s Village in Seekirchen, under the leadership of Mag. Wolfgang Arming. For over 50 children and young people, this is the sole foundation for a positive future. Only a few of the children living in the villages are orphans. More of them are children who are unable to grow up in their families of origin for various reasons. Due to often traumatic experiences, they require special attention, care and therapies, if they ever wish to lead an independent life later. Because this also applies for children and young people outside of Europe, the SOS Children’s Village is currently making special efforts for displaced children.
“It makes us very proud that our long-term regional partnership with the SOS Children’s Village was so successful, and that the children of an entire Children’s Village family have found a secure path to adult life. We are thus renewing our partnership in order to help also this group living with their six small children in a SOS Children’s Village to secure their livelihood even more,” states Christian Profanter proudly, the state director of corporate clients of UniCredit Bank Austria in Salzburg. When visiting the Children’s Village, the children rejoiced over the gifts brought by UniCredit Bank Austria, and invited their new house sponsors to take part in a joint art creation afternoon event.
Bank Austria donation campaigns
Bank Austria also constantly supports SOS Children’s Village through donation campaigns. Thus, in 2016 as part of the 30th anniversary of the C.A.S.H. commercial forum, 30 children from the Austrian SOS Children’s Villages were each given a one week holiday on a farm, with supervision. Since 2008, over €800,000 was donated to the SOS Children’s Village.
This year, Bank Austria is supporting the SOS donation challenge “Save Childhood” on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of SOS Children’s Village.
An idea from Austria for the children of the world
In April 1949, a group of committed women and men around the medical student from Vorarlberg, Hermann Gmeiner, founded the “Societas Socialis” in Innsbruck. They were shocked by the drastic living situations of many orphans after the Second World War. Gmeiner was convinced that children best develop not in a home but rather in an environment similar to the family. With this concept, which was almost revolutionary for the time, SOS Children’s Village set new standards in the long-term care of children.
SOS Children’s Village today
Today, SOS Children’s Village provides a loving and dependable home for children and young people suffering from violence, neglect or poverty. In difficult life situations, this relief organisation is on the side of young people and their families, caring, supporting, advising and seeking ways out of crisis jointly with those affected.
SOS Children’s Village knows the needs of children, listens to them, and takes them seriously. The goal is to open up opportunities to children despite all adversity, and to enable them to have a unique future.