SOS Children's Village Davao

photo: Alexander Gabriel
SOS Children's Village Davao was officially opened in 1982. It is located near the main road which connects the city centre of Davao with the airport. It is approximately 10 minutes by car from the city centre. Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao. SOS Children's Village Davao consists of 14 family houses, the village director's house, an administration and service area, and a community house. In 1984, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner School was opened. The school is now operated by the "Holy Cross of Davao" organisation. Up to 900 pupils can be taught in its 24 classrooms.
 

In 1988, an SOS Youth Village for boys was opened. It comprises five houses, a 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.

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. There are four classrooms and some training workshops where basic skills are taught.

In 2007, SOS Children's Villages launched its family strengthening programmes in Davao. 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.

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