SOS Children's Village Bataan

An SOS mother and her SOS family in Bataan, PhilippinesIn 1959, after a visit to SOS Children's Village Imst, Austria (the first ever SOS Children's Village), the then Ambassador of Austria to the Philippines and his wife decided to promote this child-care model in the Philippines. In 1963, Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children's Villages, visited the country. One year later, the national SOS association, SOS Children's Villages in the Philippines, was founded.

In 1967, the first SOS Children's Village of the country was built at Banay-Banay, Lipa. Many children in the Philippines live in terrible conditions: city slums are constantly growing and children are forced to live in the streets. In order to improve this situation, several more SOS Children's Villages have been established all over the country.

The SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools in Davao, Calbayog and Tacloban ensure that the children from the SOS Children's Villages as well as children from the neighbourhood receive a good education. Apart from helping children, one of the major concerns of SOS Children's Villages has always been to help the people living near the SOS Children's Villages by means of the SOS Social Centres. They offer day care, counselling and food programmes, depending on what is needed.

Since most SOS Children's Villages in the Philippines are in the south of the country, it was decided to build the country's eighth SOS Children's Village in the town of Mariveles, Bataan, in the Central Luzon region north of Manila in order to step up the fight against the social problems of the north such as malnutrition of infants, bad performance at school and abandonment of children.

The SOS Children's Village is situated in the Golden Heights Subdivision of Mariveles and it is the country's first SOS Children's Village to be integrated in a residential area. There are no fences or walls to separate the family houses from the other houses of the subdivision. This way, the children living at the SOS Children's Village will find it easier to integrate into society. The SOS Children's Village consists of six family houses, the village director's house, an administration and service area and a community building. Each of the family houses has two storeys and is home to two SOS families, so that up to 120 children can find a new home at SOS Children's Village Bataan.