SOS Children's Village Semarang is located in the city of Semarang, the capital of the province of Central Java, on the north coast of the island. The 14 family houses, the village director's and the aunts' (family helpers who support the SOS mothers) houses and various administrative buildings were built on an area of approximately three hectares. The first children moved into SOS Children's Village Semarang in 1984, and on 31 January 1985, it was officially opened in the presence of SOS Children's Villages' founder Herrmann Gmeiner himself. At SOS Children's Village Semarang, both Christian and Muslim children are brought up according to their respective faith. They attend state or private schools near by; this helps them integrate into society. There is an elementary school and a secondary school in the immediate vicinity of the SOS Children's Village.
The SOS Kindergarten, which offers 90 places, is also open to children from the neighbourhood. SOS Children's Village Semarang has a playground and a sports field where children can have fun. In 1993, a traditional open assembly hall (called 'pendopo' in Indonesian) was erected in the centre of the SOS Children's Village. This hall is used for all kinds of assemblies, parties, games, and even for sports events. In one corner of the SOS Children's Village, there are a few small fish ponds, which supply the Village with fresh fish, and each SOS family has its own vegetable patch.
Adolescent boys usually move from the village to the youth facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.
The SOS Social Centre offers family strengthening, health counselling, community support, counselling and psychological support. The programmes are designed to ensure that children have access to essential services, such as education, health services and psycho-social support. Families are assisted with income generation. They also receive help when dealing with the authorities. People's parental skills and awareness of children's rights are improved.