The country's first SOS Children's Village was built at a 20-acre site on the outskirts of Montevideo. It was officially inaugurated on 4 April 1967 in the presence of SOS-Kinderdorf International founder Mr Hermann Gmeiner.
SOS Children's Village Montevideo consists of 13 family houses, where up to 104 children can find a new home, the village director's house, a house for the so-called SOS aunts (SOS mother trainees or family helpers who support the SOS mothers during their daily work and fill in for them when they are ill or on leave), the caretaker's house, a community building with rooms for functions and festivities, a library, a gym, and an administration and service area. In addition, there is a small SOS Medical Centre.
This SOS Medical Centre is housed inside the community building of the SOS Children's Village. It was set up in 1999. A dentist and a physician see patients from the local community twice a week. Up to 1,800 patients a year can be provided with basic medical care at the centre.
The SOS Children's Village also includes two SOS Social Centres, which are open to the local community. The programmes of the SOS Social Centres have been adapted to the needs of the people living near these SOS Social Centres. Their main aim is to alleviate hardship and thereby prevent parents from abandoning their children.
The SOS Social Centres run child-day care facilities for up to 150 children who can be looked after during the afternoon.
For youngsters from the SOS Children's Village, four SOS Youth Facilities were set up in town in 1985.
Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education.
With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people 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.
In town, there is also an SOS Vocational Training Centre, where SOS mothers and other co-workers are trained.
The SOS Vocational Training Centre was opened in 1997 and consists of classrooms, accommodation for the participants, a kitchen and a dining hall. At the training centre, up to 25 people can be trained for their jobs as SOS mothers or for other jobs within the SOS Children's Village organisation.