SOS Children’s Villages (SOS) supports vulnerable children and families in 135 countries and regions across five continents. 600’000 children, youngsters and their families are directly supported by SOS through 571 SOS-Villages as well as through youth and family strengthening programmes. 151’000 children and youngsters benefit from SOS educational programmes (kindergarten, schools, vocational training). Through additional 34 emergency projects and 71 medical centres, SOS reaches a total of over 1.5 million people worldwide – all figures above as per January 2019.
The approach of SOS and SOL is to find out in a pilot – implemented in Sicaya, Huancayo, Peru – if sport can have a core impact in SOS’ world-wide context.
Problem to be tackled
There are an estimated 140 million children worldwide who have lost one or both parents – and 570 million children living in extreme poverty. When a child has nobody to care for them, SOS is there to offer them a home, a carer and a family where children can grow up from cradle to career.
Local partner is the SOS Programme in Huancayo which consists of different interventions aiming at providing care for children and youth that have lost parental care.
The overall objective of the project and its series of activities is to strengthen social skills of children, youth and families, which have a direct influence on psychosocial integration. Sports and recreational activities are a crucial part of said activities, as they foster self-confidence of individuals, teamwork and contribute to building a sense of belonging.
Furthermore, the project seeks to create a deeper change within the community and tackle unequal gender relations and domestic violence by using the power of sports.
The sports activities, specific sessions as well as the sports tournaments, will focus on the disciplines Volleyball, Football, Handball, Basketball, Gymkhana and Taekwondo.
Beneficiaries are children and teenagers and their families who are participants of SOS Programmes in Huancayo, Peru.
In Junín, approximately 20% of children less than 5 years old are chronic malnourished and 54% of children under 3 years are anaemic. Approximately 20% of families in that region are mono-parental. This represents a significant economic burden for single, mostly female, parents and often means that children have to contribute to the family income by working.
Domestic violence and violence against women specially affect children and young people, since they are witnesses and victims of both. In Peru sexual and gender-based violence represents a serious problem: 2015 around 71% of women had experienced some form of violence by their partner. In Junín this percentage reached 76.3% (42% physical and 7.3% sexual violence). This shows how important it is to tackle unequal gender relations, empower women and girls and engaging boys and men.
With support of The SOL Foundation SOS Children’s Villages will be able to set up a pilot programme to link sport into the children’s lives, which is seen by both partners as key to build their self-confidence, team work, social skills and contribute to building a sense of belonging in addition to the existing programmes.
SOS Children’s Villages (SOS) was established in Austria in 1949 with the purpose to work with children who have lost parental and/or family care or are at risk of losing it. SOS believes that every child deserves the chance to thrive in a loving, stable family, with a secure home, a decent education and quality medical care.
Furthermore, SOS carries out preventive work by strengthening families, fostering positive upbringing and gender equality within families.