Most of us remember moments from our childhood, rather than specific days or times. From routine bedtime stories, to your first day at school, to celebrating special occasions with loved ones, memories of these moments help to shape the people we are today.
SOS Children believe that every child deserves to grow up with positive childhood memories. Moments bond families together and help children to feel a sense of belonging. Yet, there are many children who do not experience the ordinary moments that make up everyday life for those of us in loving families. Instead, many children are living in isolation, struggling to survive, unable to meet their basic needs, receive an education or experience the safety and warmth of a family life.
Our charity works to ensure more children can grow up remembering a happy childhood. We strengthen disadvantaged families, to prevent child abandonment and enable children to grow up in a safe home. Where this is not possible, we have 508 unique SOS Children’s Villages, which offer orphaned and abandoned children a family life, an education and strong community values. We create an environment where children can always feel at home, experience moments as part of a family, and build positive memories to last a lifetime.
My favourite family moments
A safe home
A secure and safe home provides children with the reassurance they need to enjoy their childhood.
Six-year-old Tuan from Vietnam used to farm animals to bring in an income for his poor family, survive on one meal a day and sleep on the hard floor at night. Now, he has found a comfortable and home and can enjoy his childhood. Read his story.
Building positive relationships
Bonds can last a lifetime. Children need to establish family ties, as well as relationships with friends and neighbours for their development.
Joseph, five, was found abandoned in a slum in Kenya with his two young siblings. He now lives in an SOS Children's Village, surrounded by the love and care of his SOS mother and brothers and sisters. Read his story.
Growing up healthy
In addition to a good diet and exercise, children need access to quality medical care and advice to grow up healthy and well.
When four-year-old John came to live at SOS Children's Village Entebbe in Uganda, he was on the verge of death. With medical treatment and the patience of his SOS mother, John is now a healthy and lively young boy. Read his story.
A valuable education
As well as improving children's skills-set and prospects for the future, education raises confidence and awareness about their rights.
Moussa, 11, attends the SOS School in Abobo-Gare in Côte d'Ivoire. He has just started Year Six, the final year of Primary School. Here, he describes his first day back as well as his ambitions for the future. Read his story.
Celebrating special occasions
Special occasions such as a birthday or Christmas provide the opportunity for friends and family to come together and experience moments to last a lifetime.
Read the story of Skeila, 12, from Venezuela, who looks forward to spending time with her SOS family over Christmas, and Zoran, 13, from Bosnia and Herzegovina whose birthday is no longer forgotten, but celebrated in style with a very big cake. Read their stories.
What do you remember from your childhood?
Submit your memories of your favourite family moments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and they could appear on this site.