SOS Children's Villages

ULSTEIN is a main partner to SOS Children's Villages, with a particulate engagement in a family program in Angola. To prevent child abandonment, the family strengthening program offers welfare and support to vulnerable families, including support to help caregivers move towards financial independence.

The photo and video show children in the SOS Children's Village in the Angolan Lubango province.

We contribute to the development of the regions where SOS Children's Villages have operations, and are currently engaged in a family program in the Lubango province in Angola.

The education challenge
Angolan society is still trying hard to tackle the social, physical and political scars that the war left behind. Although the country has seen impressive economic growth rates since the end of the war, only a small number of Angolans are seeing the benefits of this upswing. Overall, 77 per cent of Angolans live in poverty, many of them in extremely harsh conditions. Life expectancy at birth is only 48 years and a shocking 30 per cent of Angolans remain illiterate.

Children who miss out on education and therefore do not learn to read and write, face an increased risk of poverty later in life.

Therefore, in the partnership with SOS-Children's Villages, we are breaking down barriers to learning by supporting pre-school learning for vulnerable children, provide school uniforms and learning materials for poor families, and make sure children are registered at birth in order to receive their birth certificates which are required for school attendance.

Sustainability measures
Also, we are working towards sustainability measures such as gender awareness and girls' education, income generating activities for caretakers, child care and parenting skills, health and sanitation issues and ensuring that children have access to essential services.

By investing in these communities, we can prevent child abandonment, empower children and vulnerable families, encourage learning and keep children in school.

Investing in families and communities
SOS-Children’s Villages build and run dedicated village communities with homes for children to grow up in a safe family environment. SOS-Children’s Villages also establish and manage schools, training facilities, health clinics and community centres through their family strengthening programs.

Since the partnership started in 2010, Ulstein Group has also been involved in the rehabilitation of an SOS-village in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and in financing a day care centre for vulnerable children in Rio de Janeiro.

Making a long-term impact

  • 84 percent of children growing up in an SOS family and 79 percent of children being supported by an SOS family strengthening program, are doing well or very well in at least six of eight dimensions of well-being.
  • 91 percent of all children growing up in an SOS family, who later become parents, fulfil their parental obligations to their own children, creating a positive impact on future generations.
  • No child who participated in an SOS family strengthening program was separated from their biological family. Keeping families together is the main goal of the family strengthening program.
  • SOS programs proved a social return on investment of at least 14 euro for every one euro invested.

These numbers come from a 2017 study - read more here.

Care is the key to access to and benefit from education and health services and therefore essential to development for each individual. Providing a good childhood means securing that children receive care and protection in a family so that they can develop into self-sufficient adults and contributing members of society. Investing in care for children is a socially and economically profitable investment.