SOS Children's Villages started working in Germany in the mid-1950s, after the foundation of "SOS-Kinderdorf e.V." in Munich. The SOS Children's Villages concept aroused great interest in Germany; the number of members and friends rapidly increased, and in subsequent years our organisation was able to expand its support to reach children, young people and families in nearly 40 locations around the country.
The SOS Children's Village Sachsen was opened in 1994, and was the first SOS Children's Village on the territory of the former German Democratic Republic. It is situated near the city of Zwickau, close to the Erzgebirge and the Vogtland, two mountainous areas. The SOS Children's Village Sachsen comprises ten family houses for about 60 children, an administrative building, accommodation for guests, staff and co-workers and rooms for the vocational training of up to six youth in home economics. Great importance was attached to an energy-saving construction, including the installation of solar panels.
On the same site a SOS kindergarten for children from three to six years was erected. Children suffering from minor physical or mental development retardations are also admitted to the SOS kindergarten and the therapists and educators of the SOS Children's Village Sachsen work with them. Moreover, an educational community for children and youth was established, offering temporary external accommodation to up to seven children. This project aims at re-integrating children into their natural family respectively at accompanying youth on their way into independence. A meeting place for children and youth gives SOS children and children from the neighbourhood the chance to spend their spare time together, to receive support with their homework or to seek the advice of educators.