Children’s Charity, SOS Children’s Villages South Africa, encourages all South Africans to get involved this year by doing something ‘WOW’ to raise awareness for orphaned and abandoned children.
World Orphan Week (otherwise known as WOW) 2012 takes place during the second week from 6 to 12 February 2012 and raising awareness for this cause is the world’s largest children’s charity, SOS Children’s Villages. WOW was introduced in the United Kingdom is 2005. Since the inception of this event, SOS International has played a key role in raising awareness around the needs of orphaned and abandoned children around the world. SOS Children’s Villages South Africa spearheaded the introduction of WOW to the nation in 2009 and has played an important part in making every vulnerable, abandoned and orphaned child’s plight known.
“Sadly, society today has far too many people, mostly children and the youth who are unable to speak or fend for themselves. In South Africa, many have lost their families to diseases such as HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis; some are abandoned by family members who are no longer able to care for them due to extreme poverty; others (some 50 000) are victims of domestic violence and crime.” says Mandy Spies Corporate Fundraiser for SOS Children’s Village Port Elizabeth.
The statistics are alarming, poignant and woeful. This is the sad reality:
- Every 2.2 seconds a child becomes an orphan
- There are over 160 million orphans around the world
- In SA alone, the number of orphaned and abandoned children has risen 4.5% since 2005
- There are approximately 3.6 million orphans in SA, 1.8 million of which is as a direct result of the AIDS epidemic
“The need for organisations and individuals alike to become involved has never been more urgent. The task is simply too great for any single government or organisation to tackle alone. Working together however, we can achieve this. Our aim for 2012 is to get as many people as possible involved in achieving the common goal of assisting those youth and children without families” says Spies.
With this in mind, SOS Children’s Village Port Elizabeth calls all companies, organisations, schools, communities and individuals in the Nelson Mandela Metro to do something ‘WOW’ to aid vulnerable, orphaned and abandoned children in February 2012. There are no limitations in terms of how to get involved! In fact Spies encourages those wanting to participate to be as creative as possible. For those not sure where to start or how big or small a role you can play to make an impact, Spies gives the following ideas to inspire action amongst all volunteers and participants.
For companies and organisations wishing to get involved in WOW:
- Allow employees to dress in something WOW; this can be anything from red noses and hats to feather boas and fairy wings! Collect R5 per participant and donate the money to SOS or buy a R5 WOW sticker from SOS.
- Encourage employee-giving in the month of February. For example, employees can donate a small percentage or a set amount from their February income to SOS.
- Display WOW posters (available from SOS) on bulletin boards in your canteens and offices.
- Educate your staff on WOW through internal e-mailers, newsletters, the intranet and internal competitions.
- Host a WOW internal event in aid of orphaned and abandoned children. Go to www.justgiving.com for tips and ideas on how to hold such an event
- Use social media (like your Facebook or Twitter page) to encourage others to get involved.
- Add a link to the SOS website from your website.
- Get employees to SMS the word ‘SOS’ to 36976 to donate R5.
- Get employees to clean out their cupboards and donate old clothing, blankets and toys to a SOS Village near you (go to www.sos.org.za to view all villages).
For individuals wishing to get involved:
- Buy a R5 WOW sticker from SOS.
- Host a WOW event for friends and family in aid of orphaned and abandoned children. Go to www.justgiving.com for tips and ideas on how to hold such an event.
- Use social media (like your Facebook or Twitter page) to encourage others to get involved. Put a link on your page to SOS’s Facebook page. Invite people to ‘like’ SOS’s Facebook Page.
- SMS the word ‘SOS’ to 36976 to donate R5.
- Donate online at www.sos.org.za.
- Clean out your cupboards and donate old clothing, blankets and toys to a SOS Village near you (go to www.sos.org.za to view all villages).
- Donate your time, skills or professional services to SOS Children’s Villages facilities across South Africa
“Any money raised for SOS Children’s Villages will go directly to supporting the 7300 children in our care, as well as toward our community programme known as the ‘SOS Family Strengthening Programme’ (a sustainable operation developed to support vulnerable children without removing them from their natural family environment)” explains Spies.
“The Oxford English Dictionary describes WOW as “significant success”. Our wish for WOW 2012 is that through increased awareness and participation each orphaned and abandoned child will benefit and as a result the World Orphan Week will indeed be true to its name and simply be … WOW!”
To make a WOW donation or sponsor a child in need, please deposit funds into the following bank account:
- Nedbank – Newton Park
- Account Name: SOS Children’s Villages
- Account Number: 1213008166
- Branch code: 121317
- Reference: WOW -Your Company Name / Your name
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