SOS Children's Village Kara

SOS Children's Village Kara has been open since September 1979 and was opened on 18 November of the same year by the Minister of Health and Social Affairs of Togo and then again on 26 February 1983 by Hermann Gmeiner himself following the addition of several buildings.

There, 100 children are cared for in 10 family houses and a house is available for the use of the village director, the SOS aunts and guests. Moreover, there is an administration and service area, three open round huts and a sports ground which is very popular.

From the outset, a primary school was also added to SOS Children's Village Kara which was initially opened as a Catholic primary school and from 18 September 1995 onwards was run as an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School. 420 school children are taught there in 12 classrooms and in addition two more classes were set up for practical subjects as well as a room for individual tuition.

The SOS Kindergarten, which opened its gates in October 1981, has a capacity of 50 children (also from neighbouring areas), who are cared for by trained kindergarten teachers in two group rooms as well as a room for individual tuition.

The SOS Medical Centre, which has existed since 1982 and was expanded in March 2002, is used by around 30,000 patients every year and focuses on caring for mothers and children. In addition to a general clinic for outpatients, a dispensary and a laboratory, the ward also has a nutrition centre (together with rooms for relevant courses) and a maternity ward. Many mothers from far and wide take their malnourished and sick babies to the clinic as outpatients or inpatients and obtain information on how to look after their babies well and on good nourishment.

In 1985 an SOS Youth Facility (rented flats in which young people who are reaching the age when they will leave the area are only supervised by a caregiver and who have to gain increasing responsibility for their time) and an SOS Vocational Training Centre in the form of a large farm (20 hectares of farmland) were opened in Kara.

Over the course of the last few years it has developed into a model facility, in which agricultural businesses in the area can get advice. This farm not only keep pigs, sheep and poultry, it also offers places on training programmes for SOS Youth and protected jobs for SOS young people with special needs.

In 2004 two SOS Social Centres were opened: one offers "Help to Self-Help” and consists of a classroom, workshops for practical teaching, consultation and conference rooms, IT classes, a library and an open multi-purpose hall with a storeroom. Each year more than 10,000 people use the Social Centre and its facilities. The other social centre is specialized in educating and supporting those in need, particularly those families who have been affected by HIV/Aids.