SOS Kinderdoerfer (children's villages), international social initiative helping children on a private basis, politically and denominationally independent. H. Gmeiner founded the society "Societas Socialis" (SOS) and the first SOS Kinderdorf in Imst (Tirol) in 1949. Socially orphaned children find a home in SOS Kinderdorf villages. In each SOS Kinderdorf family five to seven children live in a house with their SOS Children's Village Mother (15 to 20 families in each Kinderdorf village). As of 1999 there were nine SOS Kinderdorf villages in Austria (Pinkafeld, Burgenland; Hinterbruehl, Lower Austria; Altmuenster, Upper Austria; Seekirchen, Salzburg; Stuebing, Styria; Moosburg, Carinthia; Imst and Nussdorf-Debant, Tirol; Dornbirn, Vorarlberg) and 11 SOS Youth Houses where groups of young people live with their supervisors (usually their SOS Children's Village Mothers), 7 kindergartens and 5 special facilities (special needs centre, children's residential groups, youth counselling centre etc.); these facilities together cater for about 1000 children and young people. Internationally (in 131 countries) more than 200,000 children are cared for in 385 SOS Kinderdorf villages and 1000 other SOS institutions (kindergartens, schools etc.). The umbrella organisation is SOS Kinderdorf International with headquarters in Innsbruck, Tirol.
Magazine: SOS-Kinderdorf-Bote, quarterly.