Harvesting time is when SOS Children’s Villages employees from around the world come together to share stories about the best moments in their working lives.

Harvesting workshops were developed to find out what works really well in the day-to-day operations of SOS Children’s Villages, what gives our colleagues strength, and what we in the organization can therefore build upon.

Past Harvesting Workshops


What happens in a Harvesting workshop?

For each Harvesting workshop we invite a group of around twenty long-standing staff members to share their diverse and rich working experiences through storytelling. Colleagues from different countries and fields of work tell stories from their personal experience and extensive knowledge and share how they personally have contributed to achieving our vision: "Every child belongs to a family and grows up with love, respect and security".

SOS Children’s Villages is a living human system and, as systems grow and develop in the direction of what they focus on, in Harvesting we focus on increasing what works well in accomplishing our mission. The Harvesting participants are invited to share their individual experiences in the organization - for the benefit of the children and young people in the care of SOS Children's Villages.

Harvesting 2022

The next workshop will take place from November 2 to 9, 2022.



What are the fruits of our Harvest?

The fruits that Harvesting participants reap are the answers to questions such as: "What is it that fuels you when things are going great at work, when you feel good all around?". Answers to such questions touch on personal and organizational aspects of our working lives and workplace interactions. Together we shed light on the special moments, behavioural patterns and circumstances which allow our colleagues to achieve their best results. 

By sharing and learning from each other about these aspects of our work, we encourage further growth in this direction. Harvesting proves that telling one’s own story and relating it to the narrations of colleagues fosters the participants' sense of belonging, reignites motivation and is lived appreciation

Each Harvesting workshop creates opportunities to share ideas and reflect on what the vision of SOS Children's Villages means for the participants' work and personal vision. The focus always lies on providing the best possible opportunities for children and young persons in our care to thrive and flourish.

In 2002, twenty colleagues went on a treasure hunt together for the first time. Since 2012, Harvesting workshops have been a fixed part of the adult education programme of the Hermann Gmeiner Academy, taking place every twelve to fourteen months.

In the Harvesting World Map you can explore the impactful stories shared by the participants.

Harvesting World Map

Discover the inspiring stories of 143 participants from all over the world