SOS Children's Village Vontovorona

SOS Children's Village Vontovorona was officially opened on 10 November 1990.

It consists of 14 family houses, where up to 140 children can find a new home.

The houses have been built in the traditional local style. In addition, there is the village director's house, a house for the so-called SOS aunts (SOS mother trainees or family helpers who support the SOS mothers in their daily work and fill in for them when they are sick or on leave), workshops, a sports field, and an administration and service area.

In order to make it easier for SOS mothers to provide food for their children, each family keeps poultry and sheep. The village also has its own orchard, vegetable patches, beehives and rabbit hutches.

1992 saw the opening of additional SOS Children's Village Facilities at Vontovorona: an SOS Kindergarten, an SOS Clinic, and two SOS Youth Houses at Avarabohitra. The kindergarten is open to children from the neighbourhood.

It consists of six classrooms, some additional rooms, a kitchen and a playground. Up to 180 children can be taught there. The two SOS Youth Houses accommodate 25 youngsters from the SOS Children's Village.

For youngsters from the SOS Children's Villages, moving to an SOS Youth Facility is usually the first step towards an independent life. SOS mothers, educators and village directors prepare the youngsters very carefully for this important step in their lives. Young people usually stay at the SOS Youth Facility until they have finished their education or training and found a job. On average, this takes four years.

The SOS Clinic is open to the local community. About 5,000 people can be treated there in a year. The clinic offers mainly vaccination programmes, programmes to prevent diseases, and basic medical care for pregnant women and babies.

Since there are too few high-quality education and training facilities in Madagascar, SOS Children's Villages decided to set up an agricultural training centre at Vontovorona in 1995. At this centre, 40 young people can learn how to grow and harvest fruit and vegetables, how to cultivate plants and flowers, and how to breed livestock.

As there was also a need of new schools, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner School was opened in September 2001. This school is attended both by children from the SOS Children's Village and by children from the local community. There are nine classrooms and some additional rooms. Up to 350 pupils can acquire primary and secondary education at the school.