SOS Children's Villages

An idea for all the children of the World

The purpose of SOS Children's Villages is to help children who are in need of care because they have lost their parents or are homeless for other reasons.

SOS Children’s Villages provide abandoned, orphaned and destitute children with a new and permanent home. The children receive a suitable education and sound preparation for independence in adult life. The practical implications of the SOS Children’s Village idea have had a powerful influence on work with abandoned and orphaned children worldwide.

The SOS Children's Villages remain in charge of these children until they are able to look after themselves. While they learn a trade of profession, they can live in the Youth Houses run by the SOS Children's Villages. The SOS Youth Facilities represent a logical extension to the SOS Children’s Villages and the first guided step towards self-sufficiency in adult life.

The carefully structured psychological and pedagogic concept on which the SOS Children’s Village idea is based promotes the free development of the individual personality and aptitude of every child. The principles of SOS pedagogy remain as valid today as ever before, and the SOS Children’s Village family is still considered the best alternative to the natural family environment.

Children are accepted by SOS Children’s Villages irrespective of race, nationality of creed, solely according to their need of care.

Wherever appropriate for the child, the SOS Children’s Villages maintain the contact with the extended family from which the child comes.

The Four Principles of the SOS Children’s Villages

The SOS philosophy and work is based on Hermann Gmeiner’s (1919-1986) four principles stated since 1949 and they are:

The Mother

Every homeless child is given a mother, not just an educator. SOS mothers are women who have dedicated their lives to the children entrusted to them. Through its SOS mother the abandoned child learns what love and security means.

Brothers and sisters

Each SOS family consists of six to eight children, boys and girls of various ages, who live with their SOS mother like a natural family. Real brothers and sisters are kept together.

The house

The family house gives the child warmth and security, they feel protected within its walls. The center of the house is the living room. The house is a permanent home for the children, who often return when they are grown up.

The Village

The Village is the bridge integrating the children into society. As a rule, an SOS Children's Village consists of 12 to 15 family houses. The children attend the local schools and keep in close contact with the environment.

Our Vision

What we want for the world's children

Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.

Family is the heart of society. Within a family each child is protected and enjoys a sense of belonging. Here, children learn values, share responsibilities and form life-long relationships. A family evironment gives them a solid foundation on which to build their lives.

Throught love and acceptancd, amotional wounds are healed and confidence is built. Children learn to trust and believe in themselves and others. With this self-assurance each child can recognise and fulfil his or her potential.

Each child's voice i heard and taken seriously. Children participate in making decisions that affect their lives and are guided to take a leading role in their own development. The child grows with respect and dignity as a cherished member of his or  her family and society.

Children are protected from abuse, neglect and eploitation and are kept safe during natural disaster and war. Children have shelter, food, health care and education. There are the basic requirements for the sound development of all children.

Our Mission

What we do

We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities

We work for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationshiops within a family.

Our family approach in the SOS Children's Village is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in their own house, within a supportive village environment.

We enable children to live according to their own culture and religion, and to be active members of the community.

We help children to recognise and express their individual abilities, interests and talents.

We ensure than children receive the education and skills training they need to be successful and contributing members of society.

We share in community life and respond to the social development needs of society's most vulnerable children and young people.

We establish facilities and programmes that aim to strengthen families and prevent the abandonment of children.

We join hands with community members to provide education and health care, and respond to emergencies.


Our Values

What keeps us strong

These are the core beliefs and attitudes on which our organisation has been built, adn they are the cornerstones of our success. These enduring values guide our actions, decisions and relationships as we work towards fulfilling our mission.


We have challenged traditional methods of orphan care and continue to pioneer innovative child-care approaches. We help children who have no one else to turn to. With a sensitive yet confident approach we are determined to question, learn and take action for children around the world.


We are dedicated to helping generations of children have a better life. We do this by nrturing lastin relationships with our donors, our co-workers and the communities in which we are rooted. We believe that by making a long-term commitment we have a meaningful and sustainable impact.


We believe in each other's abilities and potential. We support and respect one another, and build an environment where we can approach our responsibilities with confidence. In an atmosphere of trust we ar inspired to share our experiences and learn from each other.


Since 1949 we have built a foundation of trust with donors, governments, and other partners who syppor us in our mission. Our greatest responsibility is guaranteeing the well-being of children by ensuring high standards of care. In doing this we are committed to using all fundas and resources wisely, with respect and acoountability.


The SOS Children's Villages Greece Charity Association was established in 1975. It was recognised as a society by 2576/77 of the Civil Court and by decision 1276/77 it was recognised as a Philanthropic non-profit making society, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

The Association is functioning as follows:

General Assembly, consists of 90 regular and honorary members, which meet once a year.

Board of Directors, consists of 9 members, which meet 4-6 times per year and is the legal representative and responsible of the Association.

Main Administration, located in 12-14, Kar. Servias str., Athens and is responsible of the main administration, pedagogical, financial, promotion and public relation activities of the Organization.

Our Association functions the following programs:

The SOS Children’s Village in Vari, Attica. The foundation stone was layed in 1979 by the then President of the Republic and the official opening ceremony was performed by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Security in 1984. There are 13 family houses for 95 children, a house for the Village Director and a Community House which contains offices, library and playground facilities.

The SOS Children’s Village in Plagiari, Thessaloniki. The foundation stone was layed in 1995 by the then Minister of Health. The official opening ceremony was performed by the President of the Republic in 1998. It consists of 10 family houses for 75 children, auxiliary houses for the Director etc., the Community House which contains offices, library and playground facilities.

The SOS Children’s Village Thrace in Alexandroupolis is the third SOS Children’s Village which for the first time combines closed social services together with open care and protection. The foundation stone was layed in October 2005. It consists of 6 SOS family houses, a Day Care Centre for 35 children with special needs and a Social Centre for children and families in crisis.

The Youth House in Paleo Faliro, Attica, which is functioning since 1992. It consists of 6 apartments for 36 youngsters, gym, library etc. The overall goal of this project is to prepare adolescents for adult life in self-sufficiency, to help them make realistic plans for themselves and to achieve their aims, and in general to teach them independence, responsibility and the decision-making habit.

The Youth House in Thessaloniki is functioning from September 2004. It consists of 2 apartments for 14 youth, library, office etc.

The Social Center in Kypseli, Athens covers the needs of the local community, as far as it concerns children and families in crisis by providing psychological, educational support and vocational counselling. This program is planned to help more than 200 children annually.

The Social Center in Kalamata covers the needs of the local community, as far as it concerns children and families in crisis by providing psychological, educational support and vocational counselling. This program is planned to help more than 100 children annually.

The Hostel ELIZA-SOS is the new program of the Association focused on the care and protection of abused babies & infants, that is accommodated in Marousi, Athens. This program refers to the sheltering, education and social re-incorporation of maximum 10 children, ages up to 5 years old, as well as to the psychological and social support of their biological parents.

This program works in collaboration with the charity association ELIZA-Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

This program has double target, as from one side protects abused children in need and put them on the way for their social incorporation and from the other side it helps therapeutically their biological families and where this is possible, leads them to their regularization and smooth re-incorporation in the society. But even though the biological family cannot correspond, the children have a continuation and a hope for a total re-incorporation through their stay in an SOS family.

We wish to mention that all our expenses, concerning the running cost and maintenance of our work and of the expansion of our projects, are fully depended on donations given by individuals or companies.

12-14, Kar. Servias street
105 62 Athens, Greece
tel : 00 30 210 3313 661-3
fax: 00 30 210 3226652


How you can help?

A lot of children need a lot of friends. Friends to share the responsibility for their well-being now and in the future! These friends can rescue many homeless children from a miserable existence and provide them with a new, permanent home in an SOS Children's Village.

The work of SOS Children’s Villages Greece is based mainly on many private small and big donations. These donors are the basis of the everyday life of the Villages and the Youth House and help us to find the necessary amount needed for the daily running and maintenance costs.

There are many ways of furthering the building and maintenance of SOS Children's Villages. For instance:

1. Regular contributions as a friend of the SOS Children's Villages GREECE

2. Sponsorship for SOS Children's Villages

3. House donations

4. Donations


In GREECE donations are tax deductible.


If you wish to give a donation, please contact :

SOS Children's Villages GREECE

12-14, Kar. Servias str.,

105 62 ATHENS

telephones: 0030 210 32 38 048, 0030 210 33 13 661


The Bank Accounts were you can deposit money donations for SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES GREECE are the following:



Account in Euro

Branch of Syntagma Square

Account Number: IBAN GR 69 0110 1040 0000 1044 8022 763

Swift Code: ETHNGRAA




Account in Euro

Central Branch (101)

Account Number: GR03 0140 1010 1010 0210 1161 787





Account in USD

Alexandras Ave. Branch

Account No: IBAN GR06 0172 0260 0050 2602 0914 642




On line donation