Child Sponsorship background from Antofagasta, Chile

Feb 23, 2010 10:50 AM
Report from Antofagasta, Chile

A look at the projects run by SOS Children for orphaned and abandoned children in Antofagasta, Chile, and an overview of the surrounding area.

SOS Children's Village Antofagasta

SOS Children's Village Antofagasta, Chile's tenth SOS Children's Village, was opened in 1987. Antofagasta is the most important city in the Chilean desert and is situated approximately 1400 kilometres north of the capital, Santiago de Chile. It is a vital trade centre and export harbour for mining products, as well as for the goods of land-locked Bolivia. The city is situated on the "Panamericana" motorway and has an international airport.

SOS Children's Village Antofagasta was built on 17,000 m² of land that was provided by the municipality of Antofagasta. It consists of 13 family houses which can provide a total of 104 children with a new, loving home. A village director's house, a community centre with rooms for celebrations and similar events, an administrative section, playgrounds, sports grounds, a swimming pool, a holiday house and an SOS aunts' house (SOS Children's Village mothers in training, who assist current SOS mothers in their everyday work, and stand in for them if they are ill or on holiday) complete the infrastructure of the SOS Children's Village. The children are taught in local public schools, which encourages contact with the neighbourhood, and therefore the incorporation of the SOS Children's Village into local life.

Other SOS Projects in Antofagasta

SOS Social Centre Antofagasta opened in January 1997 and is run as a day-care centre. Three classrooms provide space for the supervision of up to 150 children aged 0-16 years. There is also a multi-purpose hall for celebrations, events, seminars and presentations in the social centre, as well as a kitchen and a dining room.

For the period of their higher or vocational education, up to 20 young people from the SOS Children's Village are housed in one of the two SOS Youth Homes provided in urban Antofagasta. The SOS Youth Home gives the young people increased responsibilities and therefore plays an important part in gradually preparing them for an independent life.

Background to Antofagasta

A port city in northern Chile, about 700 miles north of the capital, Santiago, Antofagasta has a population of over 250,000. Antofagasta lies in the Atacama Desert, one of the worlds driest regions.