October 5, 2011Matthew Olivier
James Elrick, FreeBalance
Wonderful news! SOS Children (SOS Children’s Villages) has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, this is the 16th time SOS Children has been nominated.
The winner will be announced this Friday, October 7. As they say in the press release: “The nomination reflects recognition of our commitment to caring for vulnerable children around the world, through our 518 SOS Children’s Villages, as well as our Family Strengthening Programmes which support more than one million families to stay together in their communities.”
For those not familiar with SOS Children’s Villages, this group builds families for children in need. SOS mothers are responsible for upwards of 10 children. Orphaned children live with their SOS mother and 7-9 other siblings until they are teenagers. Family groups once formed are kept together as a priority. At that age, they transition to an SOS youth hostel, where they integrate into society at 21 years of age. At the SOS Children’s Village, children share the responsibilities of cleaning, budgeting, and cooking under the guidance and supervision of their mother in a compound of between ten and forty houses with shared facilities that are grouped together as a “Village”. This scenario may change depending on the country, but that is the general policy.
FreeBalance is a major supporter of SOS Children’s Villages, and is a Canadian Corporate Partner. We’ve raised funds and donated items through our Cornerstone Project to SOS Children’s Villages in Montevideo, Uruguay; Freetown, Sierra Leone; the SOS Kindergarten in Freetown, Sierra Leone (the kindergarten is part of a larger SOS Children’s Villages program in the country); Kampala, Uganda; and Pristina, Kosovo. And we hope to help many more.
Another example of our support for SOS Children’s Villages was when in 2009 FreeBalance hired an alumnus of the SOS Children’s Village in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Harry Ibrahim Turay. He joined FreeBalance as a Functional Support Specialist. Harry is still with us and is based in Freetown.
FreeBalance is a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is core. FreeBalance provides tools for good governance that are proven to improve development results such as reducing poverty. We want to have a positive impact on the countries and communities where we work and where we live.
As an active participant in the global community, we are committed to local community involvement, international development and corporate social responsibility. And SOS Children’s Villages is an ideal organization for FreeBalance to help.
We wish SOS Children’s Villages all the best for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Who knows, maybe 17th time’s the charm?
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