SOS Children's Village Iloilo

Sponsored youth holding her sister in Iloilo, PhilippinesSOS Children's Village Iloilo consists of twelve family homes, the village director's house, a community house and the necessary administrative buildings. In addition, there is an SOS Kindergarten with four classrooms and a multi-purpose hall. The kindergarten can be attended by up to 100 children both from the SOS Children's Village and from the neighbourhood. At SOS Kindergarten Iloilo, courses for the local inhabitants, especially for girls and women, are held in the evenings.

SOS Children's Villages also operates an SOS Social Centre, which includes a day-care centre and a room for medical treatment. Children of working mothers are taken care of and essential medical care is provided to the local community.

In 2007, SOS Children's Villages launched its family strengthening programmes in Iloilo. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

Family strengthening programmes provide nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support. Families are linked with existing self-help groups; if there is no group, a new one is formed. The programmes also aim at raising awareness of hygiene and child rights and improving people's parenting skills.

In July 2007, an SOS Youth Facility was opened. It consists of three houses for up to 20 young people. There is a common dining room and a library. Older boys from the SOS Children's Village normally move to the SOS Youth Facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, they 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.