KIBRIS POSTASI visits SOS Children's Village
Reporting the visit for the paper was Meryem Ekinci. The group met with the Village manager Ahmet Akarsu and his team who briefed them with regards to the work of the village.
The SOS Children’s Village was founded by a young Austrian doctor, Hermanmn Gmeiner in 1949 as an independent, non-govrernmental international development organisation to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children.
The organization's work focuses on abandoned, destitute and orphaned children requiring family-based child care. Millions of children worldwide are living without their biological families for a variety of reasons including parental separation, domestic violence and neglect. There are 134 of these villages over the world and one of them has been established in the TRNC in 1990 in Nicosia. Around 253 children have been carried for until now by ‘mothers’, ‘aunts’ and ‘father’ figures. At present there are 58 children in care at the village.
In addition to these children, 26 teenagers older than 16 are now living in youth quarters in Kyrenia under observation of consellors. There are also 22 youths who are ‘semi-dependent’ also living in these quarters. 7 of them are at university, 4 are studying for a Masters degree; 22 are working and 5 are presently unemployed or looking for jobs.
Last year 35% of donations were used for expenses of the village. The state contributes 34% of the income. The village however is now giving off its own SOS; as global difficulites ensue the international organisation will no longer be able to fund their 134 villages as of 2018.
Akarsu said that even though youths who had grown up and moved out, they still kept their ties with the village. He said that apart from financial support, the village was in need of ‘mothers’ who could be part of the village there and have lives there with the children. He also said they aimed to increase social consultancy services and hoped the government would update their laws in order to develop social services personnel better.