Honorary President of SOS Children's Villages International
Helmut Kutin was born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1941. Following a family tragedy, he was admitted to the world's first SOS Children's Village in Imst, Austria, in 1953. Later he moved to the SOS Youth House in Innsbruck, Austria. After his graduation from high school, Kutin enrolled as a student of economics at Innsbruck University.
First assignments in Vietnam
Lengthy discussions with Hermann Gmeiner in 1967 induced Kutin to give up his work in the field of tourism and as a tutor, and to take on his first assignment for SOS Children's Villages International. He started the construction of the first Vietnamese SOS Children's Village in what is now Ho Chi Minh City. In 1968, Kutin was appointed director of the village, at the time the biggest SOS Children's Village in the world. He subsequently set up and supervised further SOS Children's Village facilities in Vietnam before he had to leave the country one year after the end of the war in 1976.
More than 50 SOS Children's Villages built in Asia
In response to his outstanding achievements for SOS Children's Villages, Helmut Kutin was appointed SOS Children's Villages International's representative for Asia in 1971. Thanks to his pioneering work, over fifty SOS Children's Villages and another fifty supporting facilities were built on this continent within a few years. Other major achievements include the resumption of SOS Children's Village work in Vietnam in 1987 and the opening of the first two SOS Children's Villages in China in the same year.
President of umbrella organisation since 1985
In 1985 Helmut Kutin was elected to succeed Hermann Gmeiner as President of the umbrella organisation SOS Children's Villages International and thus became the most senior representative of SOS Children's Villages worldwide.
Helmut Kutin resigned as President at the 2012 General Assembly and was succeeded by Siddhartha Kaul. Honoring his lifelong commitment to the work of SOS Children's Villages, he has been given the title ‘Honorary President’.