International Care Day

February 2023

16 February 2023- SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa commemorates International Care Day on 18 February.

16 February 2023- SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa commemorates International Care Day on 18 February.

Care Day is the world’s largest recognition of children and young people with alternative care experience. Care experience includes children and young people who are or were cared for by family members with the support of social workers; or by foster care givers; or children and young people from children’s homes and residential units. 

According to a study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Cape Town Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescent Hub, South Africa has recorded one of the highest numbers in the world for primary caregiver deaths. Furthermore, the latest data modelling from UNICEF has revealed that COVID-19 associated deaths have left nearly 150,000 children as orphans. That number rises to 207,400 when including children who have lost their primary or secondary caregiver, such as a grandparent. 

Many of these children, will end up in residential care.

SOS Children’s Villages believes that “Every child should belong to a family and grow up with love, respect and security”. In a world filled with poverty, violence and injustice, the greatest victims are often children.

Care Day offers an opportunity to advocate for children and young people with care experience, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children. The objective is to improve the situation of children, striving towards a world where children and young people overcome adversities, are proud of themselves, their achievements and look forward to a future of opportunity, equality and equity.

Care Day is an opportunity to unite in recognising the rights and resilience of care experienced children and young people. As stakeholders, we need to work together to create a better care experience for all children,” says Lebo Phaweni: Head of Communications at SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa.

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About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s marginalised children. We offer loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. Established in 1984, SOS has eight Children’s Villages and three Social Centres across eight provinces.

Each year our Alternative Care, Family Strengthening and Youth Employability programmes provide life-changing support to children and families across the country.

The Alternative Care model comprises of four principles that include a mother (each child has a caring parent), brothers and sisters (the family ties grow naturally), a house (a secure place to grow up in) and a village (the SOS family is part of the community).

Our Family Strengthening Programme aims to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their families to grow within a safe family environment. We work in co-operation with local authorities and other service providers to empower families and communities to effectively protect and care for their children. We care for more than 5000 children and youth across South Africa.

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Seithuto Seakgwa

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