SOS Children's Village Siliana

SOS Children's Village Siliana is located on the edge of the provincial capital of the same name in the north-west of Tunisia, 130 km south-west of the capital Tunis.

Construction work was finished in 1983 and shortly afterwards the first children and SOS mothers were able to move into the SOS family houses.

It was not until 23 March 1984 that the official opening of the SOS Children's Village took place in the presence of Mrs Wassila Bourghiba, the wife of the then President and Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS-Kinderdorf International.

The SOS Children's Village was built in a typically Arabian style and provides for the care of 90 children who live in eleven family houses. The family houses are connected to the centre of the Village by paths which are bordered by beautiful flower beds.

The whole site was planted with cypress and pine trees; each house has a vegetable garden. A sports ground and a public garden were also added to the area.

The village director, aunts and guests all have a house that is available for their use and it also has an administration and service area, a multi-purpose hall, a sick ward, the above-mentioned children's club and a library.

The children and young people can also gain experience in an IT room and a workshop. SOS Children's Village Siliana also has an SOS Kindergarten which was opened at the same time and has also been used by children from the neighbouring areas since it opened. Its 90 children are divided into three group rooms according to age and are cared for by trained kindergarten teachers.

The facility has a rest room, a dining room, an office and a playground where the children can play on climbing frames or slides or simply run around.

In 2002 another SOS Youth Facility was opened, which is composed of rented flats and offers a semi-independent housing programme. Life in the SOS Youth Communities requires the young people to take increasing responsibility, as they are only supervised by a caregiver there.

For the young people admission to an SOS Youth Community is an important phase in their path to independence, for which the SOS mothers, the village director and psychologists carefully prepare them. They stay in a SOS Youth Community for about four years, but young people who are still in education or who are looking for work can stay for longer.