SOS Children's Villages of India works for children who are parentless,abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them.
Family Based care, our curative programme reaches out to over 6700 once paerentless or abandoned girls or boys in 32 SOS Children's Villages across India. Each village has 12-15 family homes with every home consisting of 10 children with an SOS Mother. All round development includes education,nutrition, health and psychological development but also addresses social and emotional needs. This helps the children to settle well in life.
Family Strengthening Programme , which aims to support families and communities to develop their capacity to effectively protect and care for their children, so that they are able to grow within a caring family environment and are prevented from being abandoned. We do this by not only taking care of the educational and healthcare needs of the beneficiaries but also building sustainable livelihood for their caregivers.
About This Cause
SOS Children's Villages of India is apart of the worldwide SOS Children's Village movement and a member of SOS Kinderdorf International the parent organisation. SOS India now constitutes the largest operational in the worldwide SOS movement spread across more than 132 countries.
Since its inception in the year 1964, SOS Children's Villages of India has expanded its care for children in need at a rapid pace. Today, there are 32 SOS Children's villages including allied projects, Hermann Gmeiner Schools, Social and Medical centers, Vocational training centres and Outreach Initiatives spread across the country. In the last 52 years, three generation of children have been settled, some are doing extremely well and making organisation immensely proud.
Who We Are:
Family is the heart of a society. Within an SOS family each child is protected and enjoys a sense of belonging. Here, children learn values, share responsibilities and form life-long relationships. At SOS Children’s Villages of India we work for children who are parentless, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build families and lasting relationships. At SOS India, we ensure that children receive the education and skills they need in order to become contributing members of society.
1. Family Based Care programme: At SOS Children’s Villages of India we are committed to the welfare of vulnerable, underprivileged and abandoned children – who are in our care till the age of 25.
Our unique concept and guiding principles:
Staunch as the roots of the tree, the mother provides stability and protection while building loving bonds with the children entrusted under her care. The SOS mother builds a close relationship with every child entrusted to her. As a child care professional, she lives together with the children, guides their development, and runs her household independently. She recognizes and respects each child's family background, cultural roots and religion.
Brothers and Sisters:
Like the branches of a tree, the children come together to unite as one family, giving each other strength and support. Boys and girls from different backgrounds live together as brothers and sisters, while natural brothers and sisters always stay within the same SOS family. These children and their SOS mother build emotional ties that last a lifetime.
The home provides an abode for the children and the mothers, with a rhythm and routine all of its own, much like the leaves of a tree- nurturing the children with love and a sense of security and emotional wellbeing. Children grow and learn together, sharing responsibilities and all the joys and sorrows of daily life.
Like a giant tree, the village brings together all the children and mothers, providing them with a supportive community to belong to and grow up in. SOS families live together, forming a supportive environment where children enjoy a happy childhood. They share experiences and offer one another a helping hand. They also live as integrated and contributing members of the local community. Through his or her family, village and community, each child learns to participate actively in society.
2. Family Strengthening Programme (FSP):
No child should be at the risk of losing parental care and deserves to be nurtured to reach its full potential. Therefore, the SOS Family Strengthening Program (FSP) focuses on the subset of the communities that are vulnerable and BPL families which are predominantly headed by a single parent (mostly women). This program reaches out to over 17,000 children and their families in 32 locations across 22 states in India. It’s run in slums and rural areas, within a 30km radius of an SOS Village. Spanning 3 to 5 years, the programme aims to enable families to move out of the vicious cycle of poverty towards greater dignity and self-reliance by ensuring education of children and income generating capacity development of the primary care givers.
The issues being addressed by the programme include:
a. Financial insecurity hence the vicious cycle of poverty
b. Lack of awareness and capacity to become self-reliant
c. School drop-outs, child labor, illiterate caregivers, lack of knowledge about government policies and benefits.
Program’s Goals & Objectives
a. Enable the parent/caregiver to become financially secure and self-reliant by livelihood enhancement and financial inclusion.
b. Ensure that the target children get access to education by facilitating and financially supporting education and other basic amenities.
Implementation Strategy and Key Performance Indicators
Women Empowerment & Livelihood
• Organize and strengthen Self Help Groups (SHGs) to promote income generation activities and saving habits.
• Provide knowledge and capital support via SHGs or independently to pursue income generation activities such as tailoring, bag making, animal husbandry, vegetable vending, running small enterprises, pot making etc.
• Create market linkages for selling their produce.
• Organize training programmes for entrepreneurial development of caregivers
• Link them to at least one Govt. scheme related to health, housing or insurance
• Conducting Adult literacy and Financial literacy programmes on regular basis
• Encouraging women livelihood initiatives towards a more dynamic and sustainable growth
• Age appropriate Tuition support for the children in school.
• Providing educational support to the children including school bags, uniform, books etc.
• Monitor school attendance to stop & ensure minimal drop-outs.
• Workshops for career guidance, vocational programme for older children
• Inculcating good parenting habits including children’s hygiene, health and sanitation
3. Success Stories
Anurag blossoms at SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan
Anurag (name changed) was brought home to his SOS mother as a 2 year old child. He suffered from mental retardation resulting in delayed developmental milestones. He was brought home from another institution as they were not able to take care of special children there.
Today Anurag, a 4 year old, has blossomed into an active child with the love and care of his SOS mother,. He can stand without support and crawls very fast. He has even started with small baby steps in walking. He is able to walk with the help of a walker. He eats and drinks water from a glass by himself. His babbling has now stopped and he is slowly saying few words like “mama, papa, akka” (read mother, father and sister). He is quick to respond when his name is called. He enjoys watching T.V., playing with his siblings and tries to sing a little tune of his own. He sits along with his mother during her prayer, joins his hands and maintains silence till the prayer is finished.
Anurag undergoes regular physiotherapy at the Special Activity Centre within the Village Campus. His teachers say he is developing at a rapid pace. Anurag’s development from a child who did not match the milestones of a two year old to a child who is now developing at a fast pace is heartwarming. The village at Khajuri Kalan for special children stands witness to many such miracles in the lives of children like Anirudh.
Anamika flourishes with love
It was a spine chilling evening of December 2003 when a Doctor heard a feeble cry of an infant. Curious, he started looking for the direction from where the sound was coming. To his utter surprise he saw that a baby was lying in his garage below his vehicle still entangled in its umbilical cord.
To his horror he found out that it was a baby girl, only few hours old, abandoned unattended and unclaimed. He immediately called SOS Children’s Village Bhubaneswar and in no time the SOS staff reached his home and took the child to Capitol Hospital for immediate medical attention. It was a premature baby weighing only 2.250 Kilograms and because it had been exposed to cold for 2-3 hours, her condition had worsened. Nonetheless the doctor’s efforts and the staffs’ prayers were answered and the baby was brought home at around midnight to the Village.
The baby was handed over to SOS Mother, Ms Satyabhama Dhal. She accepted the baby into her motherly embrace and soon she became the apple of her eye. She was equally loved by all her house brothers and sisters in the house. But sadly after few days the baby caught pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for 10 days. The mother was there with the child to nurse her back to health. The mother says “those days were the most trying days of her life”. The concern for the wellbeing of the child reflected on the mother’s face. But with time the child regained her health and became an inseparable part of the family.
The same child, Anamika (name changed) has now grown up to be a healthy and intelligent 10 year old girl and is the darling of the village. She is now studying in standard IV in St Joseph Convent School, one of the prestigious schools of the city and is among the toppers of her class with an aim to be a doctor in the future. She is closest to her mother and has now started to help her out with minor household chores. Her mother has instilled etiquette and manners in her to respect elders and love the young ones. Her ever smiling face is capable enough to lighten a gloomy day.