SOS Emergency Appeals

SOS Children's Villages has been helping vulnerable children and families for over 60 years. Today, we work in 125 countries around the world, providing long-term care to ensure children grow up healthy and happy.

With local staff and many years of experience, we are well-placed to deliver swift and effective relief when disaster strikes.

We are currently carrying out emergency relief work in crisis situations around the world. You can be part of the vital work we are doing for those who need it the most.

How you can help today...

A little girl in a refugee centre in Serbia looks at the camera (square crop)

Refugee crisis

More than a million people fleeing war, persecution and poverty have arrived on Europe's shores this year. We are helping families and children far from home through our child-friendly spaces and dedicated medical and counselling teams. We are also distributing food, clothing and hygiene packs. 

 Donate now to SOS MAYDAY emergency fund.

Emergency support with SOS Children's Villages is about more than just temporary relief. It is about long-term care to help children and families in crisis get back on track for good. Learn more about our emergency relief work, and watch videos of us in action, by visiting our main site.

Kashmir SOS emergency relief tents

Why does SOS Children's Villages get involved in Emergency Relief?

Other charities are specialised in Emergency Relief and are specialist in flying emergency equipment around the world, finding bodies under rubble and distributing large quantities of food or blankets very fast.

SOS Children's Villages is specialised in orphans not disasters. However often when disaster strikes SOS is present on the ground already.This was the case for example for the Asian Tsunami emergency, and for the Kashmir Earthquakes. It is also true in the Gaza strip, for many famines and many refugee crises. SOS Children's Villages is already in place so often because the same places which have problems with orphaned children are places very vulnerable to natural disaster: where infrastructure has little reserve and people live close to the edge.

Where we are present we always help, using all of our facilities and staff in place. This gives a huge advantage both in speed (we have often been helping with our own local trucks for weeks while certain others struggle in a local port to try to get tax exemption on their imported 4x4s...) and in local knowledge since we have 98% local staff in all our different locations. When ensuring child safety and dealing with local political challenges a starting point of already being there is a huge help (and it also helps that locals we work with know we won't leave on the next plane out after the TV cameras have gone). Stories often circulate after disasters of child traffickers and others out to exploit the confusion: being there and knowing who is who proves invaluable for us.

Trust is important too. When the Kashmir government made us temporary guardian of all unaccompanied children after the Earthquake, they did so in the knowledge that we had been in the area for decades and even had had two set of commemorative stamps by the post office (one to mark 25 years and one to mark 30 years in Pakistan).

Aside from local knowledge, what else does SOS Children's Villages offer in emergencies?

Kashmir Emergency Packs

Although we do not typically get involved in major logistical operations or major rebuilding operations, we do have considerable skills and experience which are valuable. Our work in such emergencies is incredibly important, with high impact, especially for children affected.

Everywhere we work we have local government approval as custodians of children. We have checked local staff who can take on unaccompanied children.

We have a lot of experience dealing with child trauma and bereavement, too. We tend to end up running support centres where children can get over the stress of a natural disaster or conflict and ensure that they fare as well as possible.

We often run family tracing programmes, bringing families back together when children have been separated from their parents by abduction or natural disaster.

Giving families what they really need

Our local roots mean we often are very good at spotting what other people miss in emergency provisions: post tsunami our team on the ground went around the refugee camps and spotted that on average each family had more than a year of dried foodstuffs but didn't have any fresh fruit or veg, so we were only providing fresh food whilst piles of dried food from others grew higher and higher, in the mountains of Kashmir we were the ones with the tents best suited to the high altitude freezing weather and especially things related to children such as nappies when conflict isolates families with no washing facilities for extended periods.

Charity donations to help in emergencies

by willo — last modified Jan 17, 2017 03:47 PM History

SOS Pakistan Flood Appeal Boys next to SOS tentPlease consider giving to SOS Children's Villages to help current emergencies and to help us be there for children next time a crisis arises. SOS Children's Villages is a charity that has a well-rooted presence in countries where families need help and natural disasters are devastating. The best way to help us is to make a regular donation or donate to SOS MAYDAY, our emergency fund.

As we are already present, caring for children, keeping families together and working with local authorities countries affected by disaster, our response to emergencies is usually rapid. Our effort is also well-targeted using our local knowledge, and focused on our expertise.

We are often the charity chosen by local governments to look after orphaned and separated children after a catastrophe. With local roots, we know ahead of time when the most urgent need is shelters, fruit fruit, water, sanitation or even baby food! We are appreciated because we do not leave on the next plane after journalists to head to the next news story. 

How can you help

By giving monthly, you can help SOS Children's Villages be there when we are next needed most.

Monthly donations give us flexibility to target resources towards greatest need at each moment and adapt to changing circumstances (and exchange rates). 

Please give now, we really appreciate your support.

Give monthly

Alternatively, you may like to consider sponsoring a child in an SOS Children's Village. Many of these children have been orphaned or abandoned after natural disaters or conflicts. Discover more about sponsoring a child...