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  SOS Children's Villages Belarus

SOS Children's Villages

We build families for children in need.
We help them shape their own future.
We share in the development of their communities.

SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental and social development organisation, which has been active in the field of children's needs, concerns and rights since 1949. Its activities focus on orphans, neglected and abandoned children, and disadvantaged families.  SOS Children's Villages carries out its activities in 132 countries and territories. In addition, SOS Children's Villages helps support families and communities through 'Family Strengthening Programmes'

The first SOS Children's Village in Belarus was built as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on 26th April 1986. Negotiations started in 1990 and construction of Borovljany SOS Children's Village and an SOS Social Centre finally started in 1992 - after various setbacks. Borvljany was eventually ready for use in 1995 and offered help to children from all over Belarus in need of medical assistance as a result of the Chernobyl disaster.

In 2001 an SOS Youth Facility was opened to accommodate teenagers who had outgrown the SOS Children's Village but who still needed support and guidance whilst studying or starting their first job.

In 2004
 SOS Children's Village Marina Gorka opened alongside a family  strengthening programme and 2010 saw the opening of Mogilev. Today there are three SOS Children's Villages in Belarus, two SOS Youth Facilities and nine SOS Social Centres and family strengthening programmes. 

Gail has seen first hand the important work that SOS Children's Villages carries out in Belarus. SOS Children's Villages are helping familes and children to lead normal lives by supporting them in their every day lives. Gail met children who are coping with trauma and illness, she met orphaned or abandoned children now able to live in a family home and she met families supported by preventative care programmes. Gail spent time with some of the children before taking their photographs, which they consented to. Copies of her photographs were sent to Belarus and some of these can be seen in an exhibition 'Belarus - Growing up in the Shadow of Chernobyl' at The Link Gallery in Winchester.

Please support the work of SOS Children's Villages in Belarus - it is quick and easy to make a donation. As little or as much as you can afford will be used thoughtfully and carefully in helping continue the invaluable work of SOS Children's Villages in Belarus. Thank-you.

©Gail Ward 2011

For information about SOS Children


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