SOS Children’s Villages is a worldwide, independent, not-for-profit social development organization that has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since 1949.

The focus of our work is the care for children without parental care and those at risk of losing the care of their parents. In each SOS Children’s Village, we give a permanent home in a family environment to vulnerable children. Each child is looked after by an SOS mother and grows up in an SOS family with 8-10 boys and girls in a natural setting.

The care given is holistic as all the children’s needs including food, clothing, education, medical services, and others are met. In Uganda, over the past three decades, the organization has grown to realize proficient child-centered programs in Kakiri, Entebbe, Gulu, and Fort Portal.

We currently have 41,319 children being reached through our Family Like Care within the Children‘s Villages and Family Strengthening Programme in the communities.


Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect, and security.


We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.

Core Values

  • Courage:
    We take action. We have challenged traditional methods of orphan care and continue innovative child care approaches.

  • Commitment:
    We keep our promises. We are dedicated to helping a generation of children have a better life. We do this by nurturing lasting relationships with our donors, our co-workers, and communities in which are rooted.

  • Trust:
    We believe in each other. We believe in each other’s abilities and potential. We support and respect one another, and build and an environment where one can approach our responsibilities with confidence. In an atmosphere of trust, we are inspired to share our experiences and learn from each other.

  • Accountability:
    We are reliable partners. Since 1991 we have built a foundation of trust with donors, governments, and other partners who support our mission. Our greatest responsibility is to guarantee the well-being of children by ensuring high standards of care. In doing this we are committed to using all funds and resources wisely, with respect and accountability.

The founder of SOS Children's Villages

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.

With the generous support of donors, child sponsors, partners, and friends, Gmeiner’s vision of providing loving, Family Like Care 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 through national associations around the world, helping hundreds of thousands of children each year through Family Like Care, schools, health centers, Family Strengthening Programmes, and other community-based work.

The CEO for SOS Children’s Villages International

Ingrid Maria Johansen
Ms. Ingrid Maria Johansen, CEO - SOS Children's Villages International

On January 4, 2021, SOS Children’s Villages appointed a new CEO for SOS Children’s Villages International, Ms. Ingrid Maria Johansen.

Ms. Johansen’s career in the NGO and civil society sector spans nearly 20 years, from coordinating projects on the ground to leadership positions in the boardroom. She joined SOS Children’s Villages from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where until recently she was a member of the International Board.

After starting her career at the World Bank and Save the Children, Ms. Johansen joined MSF in 2007 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She went on to lead healthcare projects in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and isolated villages for the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Her recent work with the development of the MSF-West & Central Africa Association significantly shaped her vision of pathways for organizational change and shifting power structures within the aid sector. In 2015, she was elected to the Board of MSF-Sweden and then, in 2017, to the MSF International Board.

Ms. Johansen, a dual-national of Sweden and Norway, holds a Bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics, an M.Phil. in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and an LL.M. (Master of Laws).

As CEO, Ms. Johansen leads the Management Team of SOS Children’s Villages International, the umbrella organization for the global federation. In her new role, she is tasked with the overall performance of the General Secretariat and driving the strategic goals of the federation. Ms. Johansen will lead the organization through times of change, building on the strengths and relevance of the locally rooted federation as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.