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SOS Children's Villages Observes World Orphan Week, October 5-11, 2008

North American Campaign to Spread Awareness and Bring Hope to Millions of Children in Need

WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 9, 2008) /PRNewswire/ — 133 million children across the globe are without parental care due to causes such as natural disaster, civil war, and disease. SOS Children's Villages-USA (SOS-USA) is observing World Orphan Week by calling attention to the needs of orphans worldwide.

SOS Children's Village is providing solutions to this complex problem in a comprehensive way. SOS operates 473 villages in 132 countries for orphaned and abandoned children including three villages in Illinois and Florida.

The story of a helpless child who came to live in the SOS Children's Village in Entebbe, Uganda illustrates the impact of SOS and its supporters. When John, a severely neglected and malnourished four year old, was introduced to the Entebbe Village, his body was over-run with parasites called jiggers and he was suffering from malaria. He could not walk, speak, or even dress himself. After three months of nurturing, his body was recovering and he spoke his first word. Trauma is not easily healed, but with two years of loving care, John is speaking, and doing school work, and is leading the life of a happy six-year-old child.

SOS is asking Americans to join with them in supporting a petition to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC), which protects children from abuse, exploitation and neglect. The UNCRC has been signed by 192 countries-every developed country except the United States. SOS-USA's CEO, Heather Paul, PhD, says, "SOS is taking a lead as an advocate for every child's right to love, respect, and security." To further spread the message of World Orphan Week, SOS is hosting a video contest. The public is invited to watch the 15 finalist videos and vote for their favorite at www.sos-usa.org/vote.

About SOS Children's Villages

In existence since 1949, SOS Children's Villages is dedicated to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children. SOS offers a family-based model of care essential for the successful transition from childhood into adulthood. SOS Children's Villages has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 14 times and has received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. For more information please visit www.sos-usa.org.