The first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Tyrol, Austria, in 1949. As a child welfare worker, Gmeiner saw how children orphaned as a result of World War II suffered. He was committed to helping them by building loving families and supportive communities. Learn more about Hermann Gmeiner’s life and work.
With the generous support of donors, child sponsors, partners and friends, Gmeiner’s vision of providing loving care in a family environment for children without parental care, and of helping families stay together so they can care for their children, has grown steadily over six decades.
Today, SOS Children’s Villages International is active in 135 countries and territories around the world, helping hundreds of thousands of children each year through alternative care, schools, health centres, family strengthening programmes, and other community-based work.