In Alwaye-Cochin, children from a diverse mixture of cultures grow up harmoniously in families reflecting of their own background, while in Khajuri Kalan, we offer tailored support for children with special needs, Here, you can find out about the unique care we offer in our Children's Villages.
Living in faith and harmony
Set up in 1990 close to a city with more than 280 slums, where many children live and work on the streets, this Village has a community support programme providing education, training and self-help groups for almost 1,000 children and adults. It also has 15 family houses, a youth home, youth programme, community centre and nursery.
If a child arrives in one of our Villages with a particular faith, we try to place them with an SOS mother of the same beliefs. Wherever we are active, we respect the local culture and religions practised in that region. At Alwaye-Cochin, for example, interfaith respect is encouraged and all key religious festivals celebrated.
When Fredericke Ramn, one of our fundraisers, visited, she noted: “We really like how they respect the children’s background and religion. Children are placed according to their own faith with Christian, Hindu and Muslim families and can visit a local church, temple or mosque.”
Life beyond begging
Starving and traumatised, Vishnu, 5, had been living on the streets, relying on people passing by for food. On arrival at the Village, his SOS mother and new brothers greeted him eagerly. Within weeks he was enjoying nursery, learning his alphabet and playing cricket – a world away from the wandering and insecurity of his old life.
Chennai, formerly Madras
Bringing health and hope
Established in 1979 in a city with a large slum population and poor public health, the Village has a community support programme reaching out to more than 3,000 children and their families, as well as 15 family homes, a youth home, nursery school and primary school.
Our medical centre provides affordable healthcare and vaccinations for diseases like measles, polio and tuberculosis (TB). India has the world’s largest number of TB cases; the disease affects nearly four million children and kills someone in India every two minutes.
Yet TB is a preventable disease and therefore the childhood TB vaccination programme offered at the SOS medical centre is absolutely vital. SOS satellite mobile clinics also treat thousands of people from surrounding local villages, providing health and family planning education plus post-natal care.
A young life saved
When Loganayakan, 8, developed severe chest pains, his mother was at a loss – her meagre income barely stretched to food, let alone medicine. Struggling to breathe, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. But with the right medication, he made a full recovery. His mother said: “Without the SOS medical centre, I would have lost my son. For poor people like me, it is truly a blessing.”
Khajuri Kalan, Bhopal
Special care for special children
In 2004, this Village was set up to provide a home, education and medical care for children with mental or physical disabilities. There are 12 purpose-built wheelchair-accessible houses on site, plus a youth home, vocational training centre and medical centre with special units for physiotherapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy and music therapy.
Up to 80 million people in India have a disability. They are among society’s most excluded people – often stigmatised, hidden or abandoned by their families. The SOS mothers here are specially trained and our youth home prepares the more able youngsters for life and work outside the community. In 2006, our work at Khajuri Kalan was recognised by the government of India, when it won the Best Non-Governmental Organisation award for its commitment to special needs children.
Malnourished, unresponsive and almost blind, orphan Jeevan, 3, arrived unable to sit or stand. But his SOS mother found an expert surgeon to restore his eyesight and, after his operation, she spent hours helping with his eye exercises. Two years later he could see, stand up and interact – marking a big step forward for a little boy whose future was once so uncertain.
We care for children in 32 SOS Children's Villages across India. Each provides support uniquely tailored to the needs of children from the local area. Discover more.