SOS Children’s Village celebrates 100th birth anniversary of founder

Monday, 9 September 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Nuwara Eliya SOS Day                    


SOS Day Jaffna              

  • SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka celebrates ‘SOS Day’ with the aim of increasing its commitment to the community

On 23 June, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka celebrated ‘SOS Day’ honouring the 100th birth anniversary of their founder Dr. Hermann Gmeiner. ‘SOS Day’ is celebrated annually during the month of June to memorialise the globally-renowned humanitarian in developmental assistance of children, who founded the first SOS Children’s Village in Imst, Austria in 1949 due to his sole belief in providing ‘A loving home for every child’.

To commemorate this special occasion, ‘SOS Day’ celebrations were carried out by all six SOS Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka. Each village joined hands to organise programs with a desire to give back to the very society these children were given a second chance to transcend and re-build their life in. Each program turned out to be a success due to the collective support rendered by all of them including mothers from the community.

Commenting on the inspiration behind ‘SOS Day’, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka National Director Divakar Ratnadurai said, “SOS Children’s Villages functions in 136 countries worldwide, and SOS Children’s Villages has cared and supported over four million children worldwide, since its inception. This achievement would not be possible without the founder Father of SOS Children’s Villages, Professor Hermann Gmeiner. International SOS Day is commemorated on the birth anniversary of Professor Herman Gmeiner. Year 2019 is special for SOS Children’s Villages, as it commemorates 70 years of existence and 100th birth anniversary of its founder Father. SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka provides long term family like care for children who are deprived of parental care and also supports children who are at the risk of losing parental care in society. Children in SOS Programs will have equal opportunities to build a better future and thus become contributing citizens in the country.”

The initiatives carried out by the villages include: 

SOS Children’s Villages Piliyandala conducted a ‘Beach Clean-Up’ at Mt. Lavinia Beach. Almost a kilometre’s stretch of the beach was cleaned of all garbage and it was disposed as per the supervision of a PHI Officer who was in charge of the area. Later that day, a ceremonial observance was held at Hermann Gmeiner School Piliyandala in tribute of Dr. Hermann Gmeiner.

SOS Children’s Villages Galle conducted a ‘Beach Clean-Up’ program located close to the Galle Fort Lighthouse.

SOS Children’s Village Nuwara Eliya donated a number of custom cots to accommodate the children’s requirements at the Meth Seva Foundation; a Government registered non-profit home for mentally and physically handicapped children located in Handapanagala, Weherayaya. 

SOS Children’s Village Monaragala carried out daily cleaning activities at an Elder’s Home in Pirisevana.

SOS Children’s Village Anuradhapura carried out daily cleaning activities at the Paediatric ward at the Anuradhapura General Hospital. SOS Children’s Village Jaffna invited principals and teachers from surrounding schools to their village and conducted an awareness program to educate them about the work carried out by the Village. SOS Children’s Villages have been in Sri Lanka for over 37 years with six Children’s Villages across the island in Piliyandala, Galle, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, Monaragala and Jaffna and has cared for many children without parental care and alleviated numerous poor families out of poverty throughout this period.  


Dr. Hermann Gmeiner, a survivor of the Second World War witnessed the painstaking result where children were left isolated and family-less as a consequence of the war. This inspired his unremitting passion in contributing globally towards the welfare of children who lacked parental support and the foundation of a family environment.