SOS Social Centres in Uruguay

In Uruguay there are currently seven Social Centres for children and the local community, including those in Montevideo, Salto and Florida.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community.  Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Uruguay:

SOS Social Centres around Uruguay: In-Depth

SC Salto, UruguaySalto

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

An SOS Social Centre also forms part of the SOS Children’s Village Salto. The SOS Social Centre is run as a kindergarten and a day-care centre and has a capacity of up to 380 children from 18 months to 12 years. The day-care centre is particularly valuable to single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning money for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors. Information events are held on health, balanced diets and other health issues. Supporting women is also a central concern. Further vocational training in a range of manual work is available for women, so as to improve single mothers' qualifications and therefore increase their income and improve their societal status.

Work and Achievements:

2009 was a year of intense work and much engagement on the part of all co-workers of the Family Strengthening Program’s team of Salto.

A total of 465 children attended the SOS Social Centre Salto and the 4 Community Centres: San Francisco, San Eduardo, Don Calabria and Zona Este, children who were thus given the opportunity to develop all their potential, which learned, had fun, expressed themselves, enjoyed themselves, grew up happily and found there all the love and respect each of them deserved.


Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The Family Strengthening Program in Montevideo consists of the SOS Social Centre Abayubá and 3 SOS Community Centres located in the western periphery of the city of Montevideo near where it borders with the department of Canelones.

Work and Achievements:

The SOS Community Centre La Carreta, is located in the neighborhood La Carreta and has a total of 37 children and their families participating. It started to function in 2006 in a small house that was adapted for this purpose and by 2008 they moved to another building across the street which was larger. Since August 2009 they have been functioning in the new Communal Hall that was built on the premises where the centre started out originally. The building of this communal hall in the neighborhood has much improved the quality of the services offered to the children and their families, as well as providing better possibilities for the initiatives of the Family Committee and the Neighborhood Commission, which have had much protagonism in getting the new hall built. 

The Community Centre Verdisol is located in the neighborhood Verdisol and has a total of 42 children and their families participating. It started to function in 2007 in a building belonging to the “Don Calabria” charity, has taken firm roots in the community, an area of working class people working on occasional jobs. The families and the community as a whole have much facilitated our work there. The workshops for vocational training have functioned all during the year and the good results achieved there now, as well as during the years before, have encouraged the Family Committee and the community to enlarge the building where the centre functions and this was finished in December.

The Community Centre Cabaña Anaya is located in the neighborhood Cabaña Anaya and has a total of 46 children and their families participating. It started to function in February 2009 in the communal hall of the neighborhood. The families and the community as a whole have gone through a process that was a sort of apprenticeship for adapting to the participative proposal of the program, which has led to that they themselves in different stages of this participation, have taken over the management of the centre. We have to point out the role the Family Committee played, who together with the team, have taken it upon themselves to make the centre function.

The Social Centre Abayubá is located in the township of Abayubá, in the area that borders with the department of Canelones, where we have a total of 45 children and their families participating. It started to function in September 2008 with great enthusiasm and much acceptance of this proposal by a large group of parents, who immediately formed the Family Committee and have taken upon themselves the responsibility of making the necessary improvements to the existing installations, to make a better functioning of the daily activities possible, also taking initiatives to help in carrying it out.

We would like to point out the development, the enthusiasm and the engagement of these Family Committees, the understanding of the families who entrust us their children to be able to go to work in the jobs they finally found and the occupational workshops offered at these centres in coordination with the Zonal Community Centres of the Municipality, the Ministry for Social Development etc. and which otherwise would not have been possible.


Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

Since January 2007, an SOS Social Centre provides services to the neighbouring community of the village. The aim of this programme is to prevent abandonment of children and to strengthen families. The mothers of these children are being supported in caring for their children, they are offered trainings for self-esteem and help in looking for a job. They are trained basis knowledge of human rights and they are encouraged to claim the rights for their families and form themselves. Great attention is also paid to health care and nutrition.

Work and Achievements:

The SOS Community Centres La Calera, Avenida, San Miguel, Fátima and Corralón del Tigre as well as the SOS Social Centre Candil are located in poor outlying neighborhoods in the poverty belt of the city and the SOS Community Centre 25 de Agosto is located in a little township with this same name. In the total of the program we have 811 children and their families participating, who all belong to that sector of the population, suffering situations of highest social and economic vulnerability


Work and Achievements:

The SOS Family Strengthening Program Paysandú is the newest of our activities and started to function this year in the communities of Paysandú, a city in the north of the country, some 380 km from Montevideo.
This has been possible because of the trust the European Union, which finances the project, has once more shown in our work and the impact it has had on its beneficiaries, so as to again merit this financial support. This new experience also marks the first time in the history of our Organization that we are establishing a Family Strengthening Program in a city, where there is no SOS Children’s Village functioning and generating development opportunities and recognition on a local level without this support means a big challenge for us.

At present there are 126 children participating daily at the Community Centres, 62 boys and 64 girls. children belong to the SOS Community Centre of Cerro Chato, children attend the Community Centre Jardines del Hipódromo,  children belong to the Community Centre IC 19 and  children attend the Community Centre Vista Hermosa.


SOS Children cares for children in our SOS Children’s Villages and SOS Youth Homes until independence.