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Media contacts:
Bienvenido L. Delgado, National Director – Tel: +63 (2) 8070764, 8509654, 7993475, E-mail: home@sosphilippines.org, website: www.sosphilippines.org Richard P. Burgos, PR Consultant – Mobile: +63 9285082004, E-mail: burgosrp2003@yahoo.com

SOS Children’s Villages pioneers new child care model in RP
Orphaned children integrated with local community to enable normal childhood development August 17, 2010 / Manila, Philippines – With the best interest of the child at the core of its operations, SOS Children’s Village in Mariveles, Bataan makes history as the pioneer community-integrated center in the Philippines designed to allow orphans to grow up with local residents and live a normal childhood. Its family homes are built like standard private residences with no distinguishing signages or isolating fences. To date, there are only four of this kind of child care center in the whole world. “Children who were abandoned or can no longer be cared for by their parents and relatives do not need to feel like societal outcasts. Based on SOS Children’s Villages experience of 61 years across 132 countries, the overall well-being of children is greatly enhanced with opportunities to blend and develop in a typical community setting. SOS Children’s Village Bataan is the first among eight villages in the Philippines to run this kind of child care model,” said SOS Bataan’s Village Director Salvador Ramirez. Ramirez shared that setting up the village didn’t come easy. “A handful of the subdivision home owners opposed the idea of having a child care organization inside the village. They felt that it may pose certain risks to their privacy and conflicts in the neighborhood. Fortunately a year has passed and we have encountered zero problems and discord with our neighbors,” he said. SOS Children’s Village Bataan is located inside Golden Heights Subdivision, a middleincome class subdivision in Mariveles, accessible via Bataan’s national highway, and near two private schools and a public school. Six two-storey houses – which can accommodate 1 | Page

a family of twelve per floor, an administration office, a director’s house, a staff house, and a multipurpose hall comprise the village. Some 28 employees care for 96 children – 11 SOS Mothers, seven Aunts assisting the SOS mothers, three Maintenance co-workers, two Village Educators, two Social Workers, two Administration Staff, and one Village Director. Ramirez said that SOS Children’s Village Bataan’s operational ratio is 1:3 – one employee per three children -- to ensure that all of the children’s emotional, psychological and physical needs are met. “They were forced to leave their biological families because the love and care that they should have received were no longer there. Upon joining SOS, we want them to experience motherly care and supervision, the time to play and be a child, gain proper nutrition and acquire an education. This is why our co-workers play an important role in their development,” Ramirez said. Apart from providing 24/7 child care, SOS Children’s Village Bataan co-workers actively participate in local associations and events to ensure that they have regular community engagement which can provide access to potential partners and donors. The village multi-purpose hall will finish construction next month and will be open to accommodate community events. On the second floor, an electronic library and computer center will allow students within and outside the village to access the Internet for educational research. “We aim to engage the people of Bataan in understanding and appreciating the work that SOS is doing for the children. Our doors are open for everyone to see and experience. Perhaps we do not need to explain much, they can see our message in our children – vibrant, happy, healthy, friendly, and successful,” he said. By the end of this month, Mr. Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Children’s Villages International, will visit the country to officially inaugurate the Children’s Village. ### ABOUT SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES SOS Children’s Villages International is a private, non-political, non-denominational welfare organization. SOS Children’s Villages Philippines is part of this largest international familybased care organization operating in 132 countries and territories. There are 2,018 SOS Children’s Villages and ancillary facilities around the world with more than a million children under its care. Here in the Philippines, SOS Children’s Villages are present in Calbayog, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Lipa, Manila, Tacloban and, the newest, in Bataan. With 1,061 children now under its care and 1,223 former SOS children who are now successfully independent, SOS Children’s 1 | Page

Villages Philippines is the largest family-based care organization in the country today. For more information, click on www.sosphilippines.org.

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