The (hi)story of harvesting

Harvesting time is when SOS Children’s Villages co-workers from around the world come together to share stories about their best moments in their work. Harvesting workshops were developed to find out what functions really well in the day-to-day activities of SOS Children’s Villages, what gives SOS co-workers strength, and what we in the organisation can build upon.

photo: Stefan Lechner Photography

What Harvesting is about?

In Harvesting we invite a group of approximately 20 long-standing co-workers to share their diverse and rich working experiences through storytelling. Colleagues from different countries in various working functions tell stories from their personal experience and extensive knowledge that deal for example with issues that are of particular importance for our vision: Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.

SOS Children’s Villages is a human system and, as human systems grow in the direction of what they focus on, in Harvesting we focus on increasing what works well in achieving our mission! Harvesting participants are invited to do this for the good of the children and young people in SOS Children’s Villages programmes who are without a doubt the essential core of this experience exchange programme.

photo: Stefan Lechner Photography

What are the fruits being harvested?

The fruits that Harvesting participants enjoy are the answers to questions like: “What gets you really going when you are at your best?” These answers touch the personal as well as the organisational level of participants’ endeavours. Looking at moments, patterns of behaviour or circumstances when SOS co-workers are in a “flow”, when they are achieving the best results in supporting children at risk or in need, enables SOS Children’s Villages to grow in that direction.

Co-workers learn and benefit from each other’s wealth of experiences in being effective.

Harvesting proves that telling one’s own story and relating it to the narrations of colleagues fosters the feeling of belonging, inspires taking action, gives motivation and is lived appreciation. Coming together in Harvesting offers participants the possibility to share ideas and to reflect on what the vision of SOS Children’s Villages means for each co-workers individual task. All this is about best possible ways of unfolding potentials of children and young people.

photo: Stefan Lechner Photography

Harvesting workshops

Here are the inspiring stories of Harvesting participants from around the world:

Here you will find information and videos about the Harvesting Workshops of the last years:



For more information please contact:

Mag. Irene Gleirscher
+43 512 3316 5671