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International Day of the Family - Strengthening Families


Giving children a new family home is the traditional work of SOS Children. The increasing numbers of children around the world losing the protection and support of their parents, however, has meant that SOS Children is now working equally hard to keep vulnerable children within their own their own families, through a variety of ‘family strengthening programmes’.

The programmes aim to give parents the support, training and skills they require to care for their families, covering areas such as health advice, child care services, start up loans for small businesses and skills necessary to improve their job prospects.


SOS Children also focuses on empowering women through advice on women’s rights and creating opportunities for women to meet and work together. In Latin America, women can take part in a special programme designed to improve their position in the work place and make caring for her family less of a struggle.

After six months of training, Ana Felicita received her diploma as "mother with scholarship" at the SOS Social Centre San Vicente, El Salvador. "Thanks to the support from the SOS Social Centre San Vicente, I now have the opportunity to get ahead to help my family," Ana Felicita said proudly as she received her diploma. She is one of the first four women to graduate from the programme.

Ana Felicita, 28, is a mother of three children who attend the social centre. For six months, she attended a training programme at the social centre, where she received training in child care, nutrition and hygiene. She also learned a variety of home maintenance skills as well as basic office training.

Although she was not paid, every two weeks she received staple food products to provide for her family's basic needs. In addition, was the added benefit of being close to her children, who were cared for at the centre as she learnt.

Before joining the programme, Ana and her partner were struggling to support their family. Now, a few months after Ana Felicita graduated, she is happy with her first formal employment as a cleaning lady at a local financial company.

Ana Felicita feels proud of her achievement. "Now I am a different, capable woman who is willing to become a better person," she adds with a smile.

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