Frequently Asked Questions

Other Frequently Asked Questions

SOS Children's Villages Canada: Top 5 FAQ's:

1:  What does 'non-denominational' mean? what is SOS's stance on Religion?

2:  What does 'non-political mean? How does SOS remain non-political?

3:  Who decides whether or not a child is admitted into an SOS Children's Village?

4:  What role do SOS Children's Villages Emergency Relief Programs play in crisis situations of war or natural disaster? 

5:  What are Family Strengthening Programs, and why has SOS Canada decided to devote increased resources to these programs?

 

FAQ Answers 

1:  What does 'non-denominational' mean? What is SOS's stance on Religion?

Our 'non-denominational' stance could also be described as 'faith neutral'. 

We operate in over 130 countries of numerous varying religions. In line with our mandate to help children shape their own futures, we do not encourage or advocate for any one faith or religion over another.

Instead, children are brought up according to the beliefs they have taken from their biological parents. If the parents’ faith is unknown, children are brought up according the most prominent religion within their culture. This ensures that children’s experience with SOS Children’s Villages is culturally relevant.

Non-denominational may be best explained with examples.  A sponsor's thank you letter to an SOS Village after a visit tells how faith works in our work raising children of different faiths, read Mamta's letter.

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2:  What does 'non-political mean? How does SOS remain non-political?

SOS Children's Villages' primary concern is always with the well-being of orphaned and abandoned children, regardless of politics.  For these reason SOS works to remain a non-political organization, working in 130 countries with various different political systems and ideologies.

In order to best serve the needs of orphaned children, SOS works with the governments of all host countries.  Cooperation with governments helps ensure the long-term stability of our villages and services within a given country.  Prior to the construction of any of our villages in a new country, an agreement with the host government is signed, laying out the foundation for cooperation (regarding everything from child care model, child admission, and taxation).   

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3:  Who decides whether or not a child is admitted into an SOS Children's Village?

Every effort is made to ensure that the children who are admitted into an SOS Children's Village are those who are in the greatest need, and who can be best helped by integration into and SOS family.

The SOS Children's Villages association of the respective country defines the criteria for admittance which will best achieve this goal.  They do so using SOS-Kinderdorf International guidelines which are interpreted according to local social, economic and legal factors, as well as working in cooperation with local child care authorities and government.

SOS never separates children from their biological siblings - this means that the siblings of SOS Children are automatically accepted into the SOS Village.

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4: What role do SOS Children's Villages Emergency Relief Programs play in crisis situations of war or natural disaster?

SOS Children's Villages is enabled to provide very fast and effective emergency relief because of our existing infrastructure in over 130 countries.  Essentially, when disaster strikes, there is a good chance we are already there.  

In disaster situations, SOS works in cooperation with other relief organizations such as ICRC, UNHCR and UNICEF and local and governmental authorities to respond in the most effective, coordinated way possible.

SOS's role in crisis is consistent with its mandate to meet the urgent needs of children and their families in a committed, long-term way. In line with this objective, emergency relief programs can easily translate into the construction of permanent facilities such as Children's Villages or SOS social or medical centres.

For more info on SOS emergency relief programs

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5:  What are Family Strengthening Programs, and why has SOS Children's Villages Canada decided to devote increased resources to these programs?

Family Strengthening Programs (FSP's) operate on the common sense principle that the best scenario for any child is not to be orphaned or abandoned in the first place.

Family strengthening programs respond to social and economic conditions that lead to increased risk of children becoming orphaned or abandoned.  Essentially we help poverty-stricken families develop the tools the need to care for their children and for themselves.

FSP's take on different forms in different contexts - they are, and need to be, individually conceptualized in order to best help different families in different situations.  One FSP in one situation may provide day care and healthy meals for children, while another one provides micro-credit loans to families, enabling them to invest in a small business endeavour.

SOS Children's Villages Canada sees FSP's as the best way to spare children the trauma of becoming orphaned or abandoned.

For more info on Family Strengthening Programs 

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