SOS Children in Argentina
Argentina, the second largest country in South America, is rich in resources, has a well-educated workforce and is one of South America's largest economies, but economic collapse in 2001 left more than half the population in poverty as the country struggled with record debt defaults and currency devaluation. Recovery is taking place, but for many Argentines the situation is still critical, especially the poorest members of society whose living conditions are deteriorating rather than improving. The number of people, particularly children, living below the poverty line is increasing.
Argentina's first SOS Children's community opened in 1979 in Oberá, a town in the north-east, near the border with Paraguay. Initially built with six houses, the village was later extended with a further seven houses, a youth home for older children where they can gain some independence while still being under the care of SOS Children, a nursery for over 100 little children and a school providing primary and secondary education for over 750 pupils, as well as vocational training and adult education evening classes.
The charity’s second children’s village was built near Mar del Plata, a seaside resort on the Atlantic Coast about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires, in 1982. The village site was moved in 1997. SOS Children’s Village Mar del Plata has ten family houses and a youth home, and in 2000 a nursery was opened, which families in the neighbourhood also use. We also run a day-care centre in Mar del Plata for children in the community, so their parents can attend vocational training courses or go to work knowing their children are safe.
Argentina's third Village opened in Córdoba in central Argentina in 2000. It has twelve family houses which are home to 108 children.
A fourth SOS Children’s Village opened in Luján, near Buenos Aires, in early 2008. We currently care for approximately 70 children here and hope to have over 100 children living with us by the end of 2008.
At present we have 4 SOS Children’s Villages in Argentina, alongside 3 SOS Youth Homes, 2 SOS Nursery Schools, 1 SOS School and 1 SOS day-care centre. We supported over 1,300 people in Argentina in 2007.
Pablo, aged 5, used to live on the streets, and arrived at SOS Children’s Village Luján a few weeks before his three younger siblings, due to legal reasons. And he couldn’t wait to see his brothers: "The encounter was very touching," said his SOS mother Maria. "Little Pablo opened his deep black eyes with outmost delight. His lips stretched so as to express his enormous satisfaction. He was certainly the happiest child in the world." SOS Children is dedicated to keeping natural siblings together for life - and Pablo’s story shows us why.
SOS Children in Argentina:
Aldeas Infantiles SOS Argentina,
J.D. Perón 1515 P 9A
C1037ACA Buenos Aires
Tel: 54/11/523 83261, +54/11/523 83262
Fax: +54/11/523 83263
Next Country: Armenia