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Princess of Asturias Awards

09/06/2016

SOS Children's Villages, 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord

SOS Children’s Villages has been bestowed with the 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award 

©FPA

SOS Children’s Villages has been bestowed with the 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

The Jury for this Award –convened by the Princess of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by Javier Fernández Fernández, President of the Principality of Asturias, and composed of Íñigo Abarca Junco, José María Arias Mosquera, conde de Fenosa, Antonio Basagoiti García-Tuñón, Antonio Brufau Niubó, Sol Daurella Comadrán, Felipe Fernández Fernández, Pedro Luis Fernández Pérez, José Antonio Fernández Rivero, Emilio Ferré Solé, Santiago García Granda, José Luis García Palacios, Ignacio Garralda Ruiz de Velasco, Antonio Huertas Mejías, Alicia Koplowitz Romero de Juséu, Marchioness of Bellavista, Wenceslao López Martínez, Teresa Mallada de Castro, Adolfo Menéndez Menéndez, José Oliu i Creus, Matías Rodríguez Inciarte, Ángel Carlos Ron Güimil, Pedro Sanjurjo González, Andreas Schierenbeck, Antonio Suárez Gutiérrez, Ángel Antonio del Valle Suárez, José María Villanueva Fernández, Juan-Miguel Villar Mir, Santiago de Ybarra y Churruca, Count of El Abra, and Pedro de Silva Cienfuegos-Jovellanos (as acting secretary).

This candidature was put forward by Amaya Valdemoro, former member of the Spanish Basketball Squad.

SOS Children’s Villages is a non-profit, private international child support organization that aims to provide children with a family, a stable home and a solid education, adopting a universal family-based model which depends on the social and cultural characteristics of each country. It was founded in 1949, after World War II, by Hermann Gmeiner, who created the first Village in Imst, Austria. It acts as a federation of national associations of SOS Children’s Villages and is present in 134 countries and territories. Its current president is Siddhartha Kaul, from India. The organization has existed in Spain since 1967, although it was officially established in 1981.

With the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guide, SOS Children’s Villages pioneered a long-term system of working with orphans or abandoned children, building a family environment for them within which they have the opportunity to create emotional bonds and develop fully as a person into adulthood. The four principles with which the organization works are: a protecting family environment, support from family and social networks, decision making and actions always based on the best interests of the child, and participation of children in the taking of decisions affecting their lives.

Each SOS Children’s Village consists of several homes where the so-called “SOS Families” live. These are formed by a mother or father or both, who constitute an environment that seeks to make children feel respected, loved and protected, as if they were in their own home. In the SOS Children’s Villages fostering process, groups of biological siblings always remain together. Each village has a team of educators, psychologists and other professionals who provide the necessary help to achieve the optimum development of each foster child via personalized attention. SOS Children’s Villages also works to support and strengthen vulnerable families, so that they can adequately care for their children.

There are more than 570 Children’s Villages worldwide, assisting more than 58,880 children, and more than 1,880 centres (residences for young people, schools, hospitals, etc.) and programmes developed by the organization, providing assistance to more than 490,000 children, young people and adults. It has provided more than 943,000 medical treatments at its 76 hospitals and its emergency care programme has assisted more than 725,000 beneficiaries worldwide. SOS Children’s Villages Spain has eight villages in Barcelona, Pontevedra, Madrid, Granada, Cuenca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Zaragoza and Las Palmas, where it provided assistance to 6,275 children and young people in 2014. It also funds another fifteen villages in Latin America and three in Africa, providing assistance to 17,228 children and young people.

SOS Children’s Villages also mobilizes when crises or disasters occur anywhere in the world to provide shelter to the affected children. In 2013, for instance, the organization mobilized in the Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan, in Syria, the Central African Republic and Mali. Its funding comes mainly from contributions from members and sponsors, plus donations from individuals and public and private institutions.

This year a total of 33 candidatures from Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, East Timor, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, The United States, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and Spain ran for the award. This is the last of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards to be bestowed this year, in what is their XXXVI edition. Previously, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to the Spanish actress and stage director Núria Espert, the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities went to the American photojournalist James Nachtwey, the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences was conferred on British Historian Mary Beard, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research was bestowed on the American mechanical engineer Hugh Herr, the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports went to the Spanish triathlete Javier Gómez Noya, the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature went to American writer Richard Ford and the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation was conferred to The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.

Each of the Princess of Asturias Awards comprises a Joan Miró sculpture – representing and symbolizing the Awards–, a cash prize of 50,000 euros, a diploma and an insignia.

The Awards will be presented in the autumn in Oviedo at a grand ceremony chaired by TM The King and Queen of Spain.

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