Four Basic Principles
The philosophy of SOS is simple and very basic: Every child has the right to good nurturing.
In order to achieve this, four principles are adhered to, and form the basis of all the work of the organization:
- A Mother
- Brothers and Sisters
- A Home
- A Village
The Mother is the person with the ultimate responsibility for meeting the child's physical and emotional needs, as well as providing essential love and care. In the final analysis, the quality of care provided by the mother determines the success of our efforts. The SOS 'mothers' are selected with great care. They are usually single women, often widows without their own families and, are therefore able to commit themselves completely to the responsibility of being in an SOS Village. By employing such women SOS also contributes towards their rehabilitation and provides them with a congenial and secure environment to live in.
The essence of a family is an essential part of an SOS Village. This is the reason why a group of children of various ages grow up together as brothers and sisters in order to achieve a family atmosphere. Real brothers and sisters are not separated and are accommodated in the same house. On reaching adolescence, the boys are shifted to a Youth Home.
The home is the focal point of the Village. It is in the home that the children find security, a feeling of 'belonging' and having their own place in the world. An SOS home is a self-contained unit and is as close as possible to a normal home in all respects. Every house consists of a living area, kitchen, separate bedrooms for girls and boys, and a room for the mother.
An SOS Village is the community in which the child lives and finds shelter and support from other members of this extended 'family'. An SOS Village is generally comprised of 15 family homes, a community hall, administration offices, mosque, director's residence, grocery shop, workshop, dispensary, essential staff residences and large playgrounds. The village presents a sense of society and a structure that integrates the mothers, children, social workers and volunteers in an attempt to provide every opportunity for the child to develop into a happy, confident and productive person.