Child Sponsorship Background from Damascus, Syria

Girls on slide, CV Qodsaya, SyriaSOS Children's Village Qodsaya, near Damascus

SOS Children's Village Qodsaya is situated on a hill west of Damascus, on the road to Lebanon.

It consists of a number of family houses, the village director's house, a house for the so-called SOS aunts (SOS mother trainees or family helpers who support the SOS mothers in their daily work and fill in for them when they are ill or on leave), a multi-purpose hall, and an administration and service area.

At the SOS Children's Village, children and youngsters can take part in a variety of free-time activities, such as painting and drawing, book clubs, arts and crafts, needlework, and different kinds of sports. Trips to the cinema and to the theatre are organised. Most of the children regularly go to the beach, where they have fun swimming and playing in the sea. They particularly enjoy trips to the mountains or to the zoo.

Special tutors give additional lessons to children who are weak at school. These lessons are quite successful. Some children and youngsters from SOS Children's Village Qodsaya regularly visit elderly people in homes in order to cheer them up. They call themselves the "Happy Group".

Other SOS Projects in Qodsaya

In 1986, an SOS Youth Home was set up at Sahnaya, 20 km from Damascus and 35 km from the SOS Children's Village. It consists of flats for young people as well as the educator's flat. With only one educator to take care of them, the youngsters are quite independent and have to take responsibility for their lives.

For youngsters from the SOS Children's Villages, moving to an SOS Youth Home is usually the first step towards an independent life. SOS mothers, educators and village directors prepare the youngsters very carefully for this important step in their lives. Young people usually stay at the SOS Youth Home until they have finished their education or training and found a job. This takes four years on average.

Background to Damascus

Damascus is the capital of Syria as well as one of the country's 14 governorates. The Damascus Governorate is ruled by a governor appointed by the Minister of Interior. In addition to being widely known as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious centre of the Levant.