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SOS Children's Villages South Africa

Executive Director

About SOS Children’s Villages International

SOS Children’s Villages International is active in 134 countries and territories around the world. They help hundreds of thousands of children each year through family-based alternative care, schools, health centres, family strengthening programmes, and other community-based work.

In South Africa with the help of 242 staff spread across their head office, 8 villages and 3 social centres; they work with child-headed households to prevent children from losing the care of their families. To date they have cared for over 24 000 children over the years since the first village was opened in 1982.

Direct supervisor:

Chairman of National Board of Governors.

Job Titles of direct subordinates:

  •  Head of Fund Development & Communications.
  •  Head of Programme Development, Head of Finance.
  •  Head of Human Resources, ICT Officer, Children’s Rights & Advocacy Officer, Risk & Internal Auditor, Executive Secretary.

Additional professional support and instruction:

SOS Children’s Village International Representative.

Key Performance Areas and Responsibilities

Strategic Direction and Governance:

  • Establish, guide, direct and oversee the strategic plan under the direction of the Board, to advance the vision, mission, objectives and sustainability of the organisation, in line with global strategy.  
  • Present plans, reports and proposals at Board and/or Board sub-committees meetings, and ensure that Board decisions/resolutions are translated into clear actions.
  • Ensure appropriate best practices, processes and technologies are in place for operational excellence including supporting board development as directed by the Chairperson.
  • Assess and communicate company mission, vision and values regularly to staff and take strong action against non-adherence to values, ethics and codes.

Sustainability and Fund Development:

  • Maintain and expand the donor and sponsor base to ensure the creation of sustainable wealth.
  • Develop and oversee implementation of realistic fund development plans and strategies.
  • Oversee planning and budgeting processes, evaluate financial trends and manage the organisation’s expenditure within the approved budget to ensure cost control and savings under the direction of the Board.

Marketing and Brand Awareness:

  • Solicit continual feedback on current initiatives and understand market needs and perceptions to improve on-going programs or inform future program direction.
  • Provide strategic and tactical guidance on marketing, branding and communication to grow the Member Association and increase its visibility.
  • Communicate with stakeholders and partners to ensure active and informed involvement.

Innovation, Transformation and Process Optimisation:

  • Monitor the organisation’s operating environment within the context of national and international priorities and evaluate the need for change and transformation initiatives.
  • Identify opportunities, propose and present innovations to the Board.
  • Initiate, lead and support programme operations and service delivery.

Strategic Relationship Management:

  • Maintain close contact with internal/external stakeholders by building strategic relationships with like- minded partners focused on the rights of children without parental care or at risk of losing their parental care.
  • Represent the organisation externally in the child-care field, at affiliations, functions or events together with relevant programme managers.

People Management and Development:

  • Develop and maintain a high performance team including offering special support in times of crisis to all the programmes and regularly evaluating team performance to ensure functional objectives are met or exceeded.
  • Ensure the professional recruitment, orientation, performance management and on-going development of national office management staff.
  • Maintain a direct interest in a small number of SOS children from each location and follow their development.

International Federation – GSC coordination:

  • Facilitate smooth communication flows between the organisation and the Regional Office.
  • Oversee compliance to internal and external reporting requirements including but not limited to:

           – Reporting on strategic and annual plans.
           – Reporting on programmes development.
           – Financial reporting on budgeting and accounting requirements.

  • Accommodate research programmes on common and/or crucial topics, as well as piloting some programmes/projects of importance to the global strategy.
  • Support regional/international initiatives to promote exchange and sharing of experiences, information, and resources where necessary.

Qualifications, Experience, Skills/Knowledge


  • Undergraduate degree in social sciences or a business related field such as marketing, accounting or management finance.
  • Preferably a Master’s degree in Business Administration and/or Education.
  • Valid driver’s licence.

Experience, Skills/Knowledge:

  • 12+ years of leadership/management experience at Executive or Senior Management Team (SMT) level in an internationally federated organisation.
  • Experience in the corporate/commercial sector with non-profit sector understanding of rights-based programming in child rights, child development, advocacy, family and community development.
  • Working knowledge on how to turn around a business and project cycle management.
  • Experience presenting to and advising boards on strategy.
  • Knowledge of SOS-KDI strategies in all areas (vision, mission, values and objectives) including knowledge of legislation and policies relating to child development, programmes, education  and advocacy.
  • Able to work effectively in a multi-site organisation within a matrix structure.
  • Fluency in English is required (Fluency in one or more local South African languages is preferred).
  • Intercultural, gender and diversity sensitivity: able to bridge different national or organisational cultures and to work effectively in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment respecting diversity.