Here’s Proof that it Takes a Village to Raise a Child [Q&A]

Here’s what Community Outreach Coordinator, Amanda Moore, has to say about this ground-breaking organization.

Feb 4, 2016


Amanda Moore of SOS Children's Villages

Amanda Moore, Community Outreach Coordinator for SOS Children's Villages - USA, shares what #HomeMeans to her. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child – which is why SOS Children’s Villages focuses on creating caring and supportive communities for orphaned and abandoned children throughout the world. For over 60 years, this international non-profit has worked to provide vulnerable children with a loving, stable family, a quality education, and the tools to succeed in life.

To do this, SOS Children’s Villages creates, well – a village. Each village consists of 10-15 family houses, which operate on a family-based care model that revolves around four basic principles – a village, which provides a sense of community, a house for each family to make their own, a mother who cares for the children, and siblings - meaning biological brothers and sisters stay together.

These villages are established to fulfill the organization’s overall mission to build families for children in need, while helping them to shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities. On a global scale, SOS Children’s Villages also impacts the lives of millions of children and families through its family support and care programs, medical centers, schools and emergency relief efforts.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, Amanda Moore, the Community Outreach Coordinator for SOS Children’s Villages - USA, expands on the organization’s vision to provide  every child with a family and the chance to grow with love, respect, and security.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

SOS Children’s Villages builds families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 134 countries, including the United States.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

Within every country we work in, we hire local trained care providers, use local resources to build facilities, and listen to the needs of the community when making decisions. This allows the organization to truly address the underlying needs of vulnerable children and families.

We also have a unique model of family-based care, where an SOS Mother raises children who were once orphaned or abandoned in a family-like environment. Keeping families together is important to us, so we do not separate siblings. The welfare of the child is at the center of what we do, so children receive the care and support they need as individuals to grow into happy, successful adults.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Life-changing, global, dedicated.

SOS mother and son

SOS Children's Villages provides an SOS mother to care for each child (Marko Magi)

4. What inspires you?

Every day I am inspired by the stories of children who have grown up at SOS Children’s Villages. Though many have experienced trauma and adversity, they are a resounding testament to the power of a loving home and quality care. For example, one child found his way into our care after losing his parents to a famine that hit Ethiopia in the 1980s. He was welcomed to an SOS family where he lived in a loving, stable home with access to medical care and quality education. At school, he excelled amongst his peers. He later moved to the United States after accepting a full scholarship to attend Harvard. Today this young man works as an energy trader in Puerto Rico.  

All children can reach their full potential if given the right opportunities. SOS Children’s Villages provides those opportunities.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

Malala Yousafzai has been such an incredible activist for nonviolence and for the education of girls around the world. Many children who come into SOS Children’s Villages’ care experience similar violence and trauma that Malala has faced. From surviving conflict, to being targeted by the Taliban for her outspokenness, to being the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize – Malala’s given a voice to vulnerable children and underserved communities alike.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Being able to share our work with people who haven’t heard of us. I have the privilege of working for an organization that I know to be one of the best solutions for vulnerable children, at-risk families, and communities in need. Sharing the incredible ripple effect of the work we’re doing is really rewarding.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

Because of the breadth of SOS Children’s Villages’ work, success is measured differently among all of our programs. We measure success within our organization by the achievements of the children in our programs. For example, our SOS Villages in Florida and Illinois serve children within the foster care system, a system that typically sees a 54 percent graduation rate from high school. High school youth in our US based programs have graduated at a 100 percent rate for the last five years.

We also are successful when we are able to keep together families through our family strengthening programs, and when we create accessible child-friendly spaces through our emergency response programs.

SOS children playing together

SOS Children's Villages emphasize the importance of keeping siblings together and fostering a sense of community 

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Both are great ways to keep in touch with not only our supporters, but also the many people who have grown up at SOS Children’s Villages. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

When you choose to support SOS Children’s Villages, you’re choosing to invest in the future of our communities. You are empowering children who would otherwise have limited opportunities to take control of their futures and support their communities in the long-term.

10. How can people get involved?

Spread the word about SOS Children’s Villages! If you’re inspired by the work that we do and want to do more, join #TeamSOS, sponsor a child in one of our SOS Villages, get your company involved, or think about us when planning your estate.

Whatever you do, you’re making a difference for vulnerable children around the world!

Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.