SOS Children's Villages work in Education

September 21, 2016

SOS Children's Villages work in Education

As many of you know, our BearGood support for SOS Children’s Villages has focussed on Chipata village in Zambia, and that’s where we’ve always talked about when mentioning them. However, SOS do such fantastic work across an array of areas that we thought it was time to broaden our updates so you can get to see the formidable work that they do on a global basis.

With schools going back to start a new term this month, I feel it’s pertinent to talk about the work SOS Children’s Villages do in education. It really brought it home to me how important their work in this field is, as I watched my daughter walk in to her new classroom to start her Reception year and how lucky we are to have this available to our children.

When I look at my children, and as a mother, it saddens me to think that at least 68 million primary school-age children around the world are denied their right to education. Yes, you read it correctly, that’s at least 68 million children.

So what do SOS do to help children get an education?

One of the main obstacles preventing children from going to school is poverty, and SOS believe that the poverty cycle can be broken by all children getting a good education, as it broadens their horizons and makes them ultimately more employable long term.

Around the world, SOS Children's Villages works to provide a holistic education to children, that develops cognitive, social, emotional, physical and vocational skills. To you and me, that means that they’ve set up and run nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and vocational training centres across the globe.

So today I’m banging the drum for SOS not only because they provide stable and nurturing home environments for orphaned and displaced children, or because of their safeguarding children and relief work in disaster zones, or because of their work within communities to develop health centres and general opportunities for others….but because of their dedication to help children get what they truly deserve - an education and a chance to create a great future for themselves and their families.

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, then here’s a great infographic about their work in Haiti and beyond:

If you’re like me though, you’ll want to know what is actually happening, so here’s a wonderful story about how SOS Children’s Villages education programme at the SOS Vocational Training Centre in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, is providing young women with the skills needed to become employable upon graduation:

From student to teacher at the SOS Vocational Centre

Rose Lourdes (middle) is a graduate and now teacher at the SOS Vocational Training Centre in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

Rose Lourdes, 34, is one of the students who graduated in cosmetology. Today, she is a successful hairdressing teacher at the centre.

Rose Lourdes was born into an underprivileged family of 10 children. There were often nights when her and her siblings went to sleep hungry. Growing up, she was determined to work hard so she could give her future children a better life. She enrolled into the SOS Vocational Training Centre in the early 2000s to pursue her passion in cosmetology. Rose is now one of the teachers training young girls in the very course she studied.

“The teachers provided a hands-on learning experience that enabled me to excel in my courses. I have SOS Children’s Villages to thank for the success I have earned in my field,” says Rose Lourdes. “I love my daughter more than anything and I am able to provide for her because of this course.”

Rose Lourdes took a break in the middle for her studies to deal with a personal family matter. Six years after entering the course, she was ready to complete her studies.  
“It was a dream come true to graduate from the Centre. I was able to resume my education as they did not count the break against me,” she explains. “The vocational centre changes lives. It did so for me.”

Rose Lourdes now teaches her students hair styling techniques to become skilled hairdressers.

The SOS Vocational Centre 

The SOS Vocational Training Centre opened its doors in 1999. Today in 2016, the centre is educating nearly 700 students in nine disciplines, such as cosmetology, catering and mechanics. The Centre is open to SOS children who have completed secondary school as well as the wider community. The aim of the Centre is to boost the local economy by providing vulnerable young people with affordable, quality training in in-demand courses.
“I don’t believe that there are any barriers when it comes to finding a job as a result of the education offered by the SOS Vocational Centre,” says Rose Lourdes. “My dream now is to become a famous hairdresser in Haiti.”  

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