SOS Children's Village Tanta

The third SOS Children's Village in Egypt was built in Tanta, capital of the province of Gharbia.

Tanta is located on the so called "Agricultural Road", in the middle of the Nile Delta half way from Kairo to Alexandria. It has about 380.000 inhabitants at the moment. The foundation of the SOS Children’s Village Tanta was initiated by Mrs Jehan El-Sadat who had the dream of construction an SOS Children's Village in every district.

When the third SOS Children's Village in Egypt was in the planning stage, the former governor of Tanta showed interest, joined a board meeting of the Egyptiona SOS Children's Village Association and offered a construction site. This offer and the fact that the site was already integrated in the community of Seberbai, at the town limits of Tanta, prompted SOS Children's Villages to build the new village there. Seberbai is inhabited by middle class people and people from lower classes.

The SOS Children's Village Tanta was built 4 km out of the centre of the city, close to the Al-Azhar University. It comprises 12 family houses, a Village Director's house, accommodation for the SOS aunts (SOS aunts take care of the children when SOS mothers are on leave), an administrative- and service block, a Club, a library, music room and workshop.

In the SOS Kindergarten about 90 children are cared for in five classes. Just like in all other SOS Children's Villages, the SOS Kindergarten also admits children from the neighbourhood. The children of school age attend local schools in the immediate vicinity of the Children's Village, which furthers the contact with the surrounding population. In the SOS Children's Village special attention is paid to children with poor learning capacities.

They are tutored by students from the nearby Al-Azhar University. Elder girls are accommodated in a former family house on the precincts of the SOS Children's Village which was transformed into a youth facility since in Egypt unmarried girls cannot live on their own, for traditional and social reasons. However, as soon as boys reach the age of about 15 years, they move to one of five SOS Youth Facilities for boys, where they are also taken care of by a youth leader.

Being admitted to an SOS Youth Facility means taking responsibility for oneself and is synonymous to making a big step towards independence. Being fully aware of this, SOS mothers, the village director and a psychologist prepare them carefully for that change. Usually, youths stay up to four years in an SOS Youth Facility. They may stay longer, however, if they are looking for work, completing professional training or studying at a university.