SOS Villages Seek Alternative Funding

The visiting SOS team poses for a photograph with their hosts

Management of the SOS Children’s Villages has embarked upon a programme to seek alternative funding for the activities of the non-governmental organization.

Speaking to Daily Guide when he led a team from
the establishment M. Kojo Atta-Krah President/Board Chair of the
non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Austria said the new
approach has been informed by developments such as increased pressure on the
traditional source of funding for their humanitarian activities and a
curtailment of funding from the traditional source.

Thirteen countries with the SOS Village programmes he said
are now independent of the parent body in Austria amongst them are Poland,
South Africa and Mauritius.

The SOS in their efforts to secure the future of distressed
children have established schools from primary to College levels he explained
but the catch about the latter is that payment is demanded for that segment of
education.

The SOS College which serves other inlets in Africa admits
only exceptional students who are admitted through competitive examination he
said.

The initial fee of $17,000 for successful students he said
opens opportunities for high-notched universities worldwide. The SOS College in
Ghana he added has twelve Ghanaians and the rest from others parts of the
continent.

The First Lady Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo he announced has
agreed to render support to the NGO when she was approached.

Subsequently he added all first ladies will have roles to play
in the running of the villages.

The Village concept he said is witnessing an alteration;
selected parents would be identified and supported to manage their children who
would have otherwise not been given the necessary support.

Under the current arrangement there are villages scattered
across the country where children are assigned to mothers who are responsible
for their upbringing he explained adding that this is in tandem with the dream
of the Austrian founder of the SOS concept with the family as cornerstone.

There are he said 700 children in the Villages of the SOS
with over 50,000  benefiting from other
services such as the oral hygiene programme being provided.

With increased pressure he went on, the need to adopt a new
concept as explained earlier has become necessary.

The SOS has taken up oral hygiene of children and in some
instances provided the necessary intervention to ensure the dental health of
children.

The SOS Children’s Villages Ghana provides abandoned,
vulnerable and destitute children with safe, stable homes and loving families.
They are different from traditional foster homes because once they are admitted
they remain in these villages until they become adults.

The family concept, unique to the SOS Villages is made up
clusters of about 12 to 15 family houses integrated into existing communities.
They leave upon attaining adulthood, educated and equipped for independent
livelihood.

The Country Director, a Liberian is a product of the concept
and there are medical officers, accountants and other professionals who passed
out through the gates of the SOS Village concept.

To sustain the lofty concept the SOS Villages would need the support of all to continue rendering support to the distressed and vulnerable child and there are countless in every society across the country.

By A.R. Gomd

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