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India

India is home to 1.2 billion people, yet one out of every three girls growing up here will not finish primary school, and 40% of its adults cannot read or write. You can give a child an education and a happy childhood by sponsoring a child in one of our 34 SOS Children's Villages in India. … more about our charity work in India

A home for every child at SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan

Two children from SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan
Two children from SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan

Up to 80 million people in India have a disability. Children with physical and mental disabilities are amongst the most socially excluded and disadvantaged in the country. Against this background, SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan provides a home, an education and medical care for disabled children with no one else to care for them.

Worldwide, children with disabilities are less likely to attend school. As a consequence, disabled adults are more likely to be unemployed, and families with a disabled member are often worse-off than average. In India, sadly, this is no different. Many families are not capable, or unwilling, to meet their children’s needs and state care is often unable to provide children with the individual attention they need.

SOS Children have built a special Children’s Village in Khajuri Kalan, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India, to provide orphaned and abandoned children who have disabilities with a better start in life. The Village aims to integrate children with developmental challenges into regular life, whilst providing tailored support and services to meet their special needs.

SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan has 12 family houses, where 77 children have found a new home with families headed by SOS mothers. Because of the high-support needs of many of the children living there, 16 SOS ‘aunts’ (family helpers) support the mothers with cooking, cleaning and day-to-day chores.

Nearly half of the children living in the Village attend the SOS activity centre located on the Village site. There is a playground, as well as needs-based educational and playing materials. The centre is run by staff with years of experience working with children with special needs.

The Children’s Village has a well-equipped medical centre, and offers specialised care including physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. Twenty five children who have speech problems receive one-on-one classes from a speech therapist, who helps them to communicate more effectively.

SOS Children encourage children in our care to explore their talents and interests. Children from the Village recently participated in a state-level dance and singing competition, and received the top prize in the group dance category. Last year, a Special Olympics event organised by the state government involved ten children from the Village, many of whom received first or second prize in at least one of the events.

We recognise the importance of preparing older children for their lives outside the Village. Staff at SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan help children to learn how to perform daily activities such cooking a meal. Some children attend vocational courses, which equip them with skills for the local job market. When their disabilities are so severe that they will be unable to lead a fully independent adult life, SOS Children work to empower children to take responsibility for tasks in their lives, which can be as simple as learning to brush their teeth regularly, or cross the road safely.

SOS Children are committed to meeting the needs of children from all backgrounds. In 2006, we won the ‘Best NGO’ prize in India for our work with special needs children. Read more about our work in India.