One person can make a difference. Working together we make lasting changes.
Creditinfo working with SOS Children’s Village Lithuania
”Creditinfo take seriously what is today often called corporate social responsibility, or what others may call karma. Simply put, we believe, ’what you sow, is what you reap’. Creditinfo want to make a difference in the world, so we participate in a number of initiatives that benefit society, particularly those impacting on the communities within which we operate,” advised Mr. Reynir Grétarsson, CEO and owner of Creditinfo Group hf.
Mr. Ragnar Schram, Managing Director, SOS Children’s Villages Iceland initially spoke with Mr. Grétarsson about their initiative some 10 years ago. He advised, ”We really value the way Creditinfo eagerly provide help and care to the vulnerable children of Lithuania and have done so for more than a decade now. SOS Children’s Villages International comprises of 134 national SOS Children’s Villages associations.
We work to prevent family breakdown and care for children who have lost parental care, or who risk losing it. We work with communities, partners and states to ensure that the rights of all children, in every society, are respected and fulfilled. We are non-governmental and non-denominational. We respect all religions and cultures and work with trusted partners in places where we can contribute to social development.”
In Lithuania, children under the age of 14 account for 13.8 per cent of the population of Lithuania. According to official Lithuanian statistics, 1.7% of all children in Lithuania are in care. The majority of children without parental care find themselves in state-run care establishments, where the conditions are not ideal – the infrastructure is old and there is a lack of qualified specialists who can care for the children.
In addition to providing family-based care, SOS Children’s Villages also provide day-care facilities for young children, accommodation for young adults and a family-strengthening programme. Children at SOS homes feel safe and loved. Once they reach the age of about 16, the young people subsequently move to the SOS Youth Facility, where they get support for care leavers. Young people live here until they become independent and able to support themselves. Children live together in an environment where they can enjoy a happy childhood. A balanced and supportive environment plays a crucial role in forming a sense of integrity and well-being for these children.
Mr. Schram continued, ”SOS Children’s Villages first started working in Lithuania in 1991. At present, we work in two locations in Lithuania. The more permanent programmes are based near the capital city of Vilnius. The challenges faced by the world’s children are too big for any single organisation to solve alone, but working together we make lasting changes that improve generations of lives. All the work we do is made possible through the generous support of Creditinfo and our other sponsors and donors, institutional and corporate partners, and loyal friends worldwide.”
Mr. Grétarsson added, ”This initiative is typical of those which Creditinfo have supported throughout the last 19 years. It is important to set a good example to others, inspiring not only our employees, but other companies and individuals to ‘up their game’ when it comes to social responsibility. Working in the credit information business, we are continuously working towards creating financial inclusion worldwide, to help individuals, businesses and economies grow and to ultimately improve people’s lives. In supporting SOS Children’s Villages and a number of other important initiatives, we are adding to that growth and improvement. We do hope others will follow our lead and donate to these good causes too.”
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The first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Tyrol, Austria, in 1949. As a child welfare worker, Gmeiner saw how children orphaned as a result of World War II suffered. He was committed to helping them by building loving families and supportive communities. Learn more about Hermann Gmeiner’s life and work here. With the generous support of donors, child sponsors, partners and friends, Gmeiner’s vision of providing loving, family-based care for children without parental care, and of helping families stay together so they can care for their children, has grown steadily over six decades. Today, SOS Children’s Villages International is active in 134 countries and territories around the world, helping hundreds of thousands of children each year through family-based alternative care, schools, health centres, family strengthening programmes, and other community-based work.