SOS Children's Villages was founded by Hermann Gmeiner, a medical student who was moved when he saw many children displaced and lost their custody as the result of World War II (WWII).
The damage caused by World War II led him to become a social worker for children after the war. He believed that parenting would be effective for children when they grow not only in family affection, but also under the protection of a home that surrounded by community as a place to socializing. It becomes the basic foundation of SOS Children's Villages parenting concept.
With only 600 Austrian Schilllings (around US$ 40), Hermann Gemeiner built the first Villages in Imst, Austria. His love of children finally beat his personal ambition; he did not continue his education in medical school to be more focused in managing the SOS Children's Villages.
In 1960 SOS Children's Villages International was established as the umbrella organization for all SOS Children's Villages in the world and appointed Hermann Gmeiner as its first president. Starting with the initiative of "Rice Grainof" campaign, the first non-European SOS Children's Villages founded in Daegu, South Korea in 1963, followed by the other SOS Children's Villages in America and Africa. Currently SOS Children's Villages has been working actively in 134 countries and taking care of more than 80,000 children around the world.
In Indonesia, SOS Children's Villages has been established since 1972. Mr. Agus Prawoto, a soldier who was once on duty in Austria, instantly fell in love with this program. He founded the first village in Lembang, Bandung in 1972. Carried on by the establishment of the second village in Cibubur, Jakarta in 1984 which was followed by a third village in Semarang.
The fourth village was founded in Tabanan, Bali in 1991. Meanwhile the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth were built in response to the tsunami disaster in Aceh and Flores. The village in Flores was built in 1995, while the remaining third were established in 2004 in Banda Aceh, Meulaboh, and Medan. Currently SOS Children's Villages Indonesia spread over 8 areas from Banda Aceh to Flores.