SOS Children’s Villages, a global organization dedicated to the long-term care and prevention of orphaned and abandoned children, today welcomed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie to its Village in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Ms. Jolie was on-site this afternoon to visit with the Village’s 300 children and families and continued to express her support for SOS’ humanitarian relief efforts in the devastated country.
During her stay, Ms. Jolie took the time to visit two SOS families who have each taken in four children (all brothers and sisters in both cases) who were amongst the 33 children involved in last week’s detainee crisis. Ms. Jolie also showed great interest in learning about SOS Children’s Villages’ emergency relief program to provide 30,000 Haitian children with food, medical supplies and treatment as well as trauma therapy through its network of community centers.
In the days following the Haitian earthquake, Ms. Jolie expressed her support for the organization, saying in a public statement:
“We are all wondering how to help the people of Haiti and how to reach the most vulnerable. With 500 villages in 132 countries, SOS offers a family-based village model that provides for the holistic needs of a child — a caring parent, family, community, education and support.
SOS is the largest organization in the world that addresses the issue of children without parental care. SOS has been in Haiti for over three decades, now raising over 300 orphaned and abandoned children and caring for 4,000 more impoverished children and families to help prevent child abandonment.
That was before the earthquake. Now the needs for orphaned children are almost incalculable. SOS has been pulling resources together to provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied children, safe areas for mothers, and food, medicine, trauma counseling, and reunification programs for families and children.
SOS was there before the earthquake, and during it — but most importantly, SOS will be there for many years to come — to raise these children, in their communities until they are self sufficient adults.
As a long time supporter of SOS, I have visited many of these unique villages personally. I can vouch for their commitment and care for the children. As the Haiti situation unfolds, and we all focus in on ways to help these desperate children — I ask you to please learn more about and consider supporting SOS Children’s Villages.”
Heather Paul, CEO of SOS-USA, added: “Today Angelina lifted the spirits of Haitian children who have lost everything and of the dedicated SOS staff who care for them. It’s wonderful that this world renowned actress insists that it is always children at great risk who should be center stage.”