“SOS Children’s Villages” Armenian Charity Foundation is a non-profit, non-Governmental organization that works for the rights of the children to live in loving and caring family environment. The organization supports the children in difficult life circumstances, especially the ones, who are devoid of parental care or those who are on the verge of losing it. SOS Children’s Villages Armenia was founded in 1989, in response to the devastating earthquake of December 1988. In 1990 Children’s Village in Kotayk opened its doors for the children who had lost their parents as the result of the earthquake. It was the first SOS children’s village in the territory of post-soviet countries. SOS Kindergarten was built in 1994 to provide preschool quality education for children from SOS families and the neighboring communities. In 2001, the first Youth Facility was established in Yerevan, and in the following years, two more Youth Care Facilities were founded. The second Children’s village was built in 2009 in Idjevan town. The activities of the organization are in three main directions: family strengthening, family-based care, and advocacy. Family strengthening programs are focused on disadvantaged families that are on the verge of collapse. The organization supports such families to prevent from and overcome the crisis situations that can in the worst-case scenario lead to the placement of children in out-of-home care.
SOS Children’s Villages Armenia offers various forms of support to strengthen and stabilize those fragile families, so that they can once again manage their lives independently and care for their children. Family strengthening programs are an important way of building on the resources of the families and the communities, their ability to self-organize, and their responsibility for the well-being of their children. Family-Based Care is focused on children who can no longer grow up with their biological families. At SOS Children’s Villages of Kotayk and Idjevan, as well as at the SOS Youth Facilities they experience reliable relationships. The loving and caring family environment helps the children recover from what they have experienced, which has often been traumatic. At present, more than 200 children and youngsters grow up in a stable family environment, and are supported individually, until they become independent young adults. “SOS Children’s Villages” Armenian Charity Foundation, with its two children’s villages and wide range of family strengthening and educational activities, has celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2015.