Sponsor a child in India
For 50 years, SOS Children has supported vulnerable children and families throughout India. We provide long-term support, as well as essential services during emergencies.
Across India, we take care of children who can no longer live with their family. They grow up in a SOS family home with their SOS brothers and sisters. Together, they are cared for by a specially trained SOS mother. Several of these families make up a Children's Village. Quality education, healthcare and tailored services are also provided to ensure that each child flourishes.
India: a country of contrasts
The seventh largest country in the world and an emerging economic power, India is brimming with potential. An incredibly diverse country, it is home to 1.2 billion people, making it the second most populous country in the world. Since the 1960s many have been lifted out of poverty due to economic change and a twofold increase in wages.
Yet poverty endures in many regions, especially rural areas. It's shocking to learn that more than a third of the population lives below the national poverty line. A tenth of people lack access to clean drinking water, and health care is a major concern with overall life expectancy at only 65.
India contains the highest number of illiterate people in the world, with only 62% of adults able to read and write. In most regions, girls and women are less likely to be able to read and write than their male counterparts.
A study by SOS Children's Village India estimates that there are as many as 20 million orphans in India.
What challenges do children in India face?
- Around 2 million people die in India each year from preventable diseases. This includes 400,000 children who are under five years-old and die from diarrhoea. Half of all child deaths are caused by malnutrition.
- School attendance is low and child labour is an ongoing problem. More than one in ten children between the ages of five and fourteen is involved in child labour, with many of these involved in trafficking.
- As HIV/AIDS has risen across the country, the number of children without parental care has increased. Many children also suffer from HIV/AIDS, and face damaging social discrimination as a result. Over 2 million people in India suffer from HIV/AIDS.
- Girls are particularly vulnerable to poverty, homelessness and violence. In some areas, two thirds or more of girls drop out of primary school, and half are forced to marry before they reach the age of 18.
SOS Children in India
SOS Children began working in India in 1963. Today there are 32 SOS Children’s Villages in India, as well as eight Villages which care specifically for Tibetan refugee children. We're proud to say that over 15,000 children now have a permanent family home in a Village. We also support families in the wider community through more than fifty welfare, educational and medical facilities.
You can specify if you would like to sponsor a child from a particular Village or region. Here's a list of all of the SOS Children's Villages in India.
Our Children's Village in Alibaug, near Mumbai, opened in 2010. As well as providing a loving home for children, our community programme helps hundreds living in the wider community.
We built a community at Ahmedabad in 1981 in the grounds of the Shreyas Foundation in the capital of the state of Gujurat. This Village is now run by the Shreyas Foundation independently from SOS Children.
At this SOS Children's Village, Christian, Hindu and Muslim children live together in peace. We built an SOS Children's Village in Alwaye-Cochin, in the south-western state of Kerala. There are family houses and SOS Youth Homes where young adults prepare for independent life.
The SOS Children's Village in Bangalore was built in 1989. The semi-detached family houses are home to children and their SOS mothers. There is a youth house and an SOS Nursery.
The SOS Children's Village in Bawana is on the outskirts of Bawana, a town about 20 miles north of Delhi. There are family houses and a youth house. A family support programme supports local families.
We opened SOS Children’s Village Begu Sarai in northern India in 2008. It is in the province of Bihar. There are family homes here, as well as a community programme for local families.
The SOS Children's Village in Bhakatpara is in the north-eastern state of Assam. The Village has family houses and an SOS Youth Programme. The children attend local primary and secondary schools. The SOS Children's Village has its own sick bay, which is also open to the local community.
Bhimtal is in the foothills of the Himalayas, about 200 miles north of New Delhi. The SOS Children's Village in Bhimtal has family houses, a playgroud, a youth house, and an SOS Secondary School for 750 children. Bhimtal is also a holiday camp for children from other SOS Children's Villages in India, due to its beautiful natural surroundings.
The SOS Children's Village in Bhopal was built following the 1984 industrial disaster in which many children were orphaned. The Village has family houses, youth houses, and an SOS Primary School. Through family support, we help vulnerable families stay together.
The SOS community in Bhubaneshwar (also Bhubaneswar) is situated in eastern India on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in the capital of the state of Orissa. The SOS Children’s Village is made up of family houses for orphaned children, and an SOS Youth Home.
We built the SOS community in Bhuj following an Emergency Relief Programme after the earthquake in Gujurat, western India, in 2001. The Village opened in 2003. There are family houses and a family support programme.
Since there is a special need to encourage the education of girls in this area, we started an SOS School with a small hostel for girls. The school has ten classrooms and provides primary education to up to 350 pupils.
The SOS Children's Village in Chennai (formerly known as Madras) has family houses built in the South Indian style with rooms grouped round an inner courtyard. There is also an SOS Youth Home, a SOS Medical Centre, and an SOS Primary School.
The SOS community in Faridabad, Delhi, has family houses and SOS Youth Homes. Faridabad serves as an SOS mothers' training centre for all SOS mothers in India. An SOS School teaches 1400 pre-school, primary and secondary pupils from the local community. There is a family support programme and a Vocational Training Centre.
The first community we built in India was in Greenfields, Delhi, in 1968. There are family houses, a village shop, two youth houses and a social centre providing day care, counselling, vocational training and community outreach health programmes. At a nearby village called Anangpur, SOS Children's Villages runs a primary school and an SOS Nursing School.
SOS Children’s Village Guwahati is in the capital of Assam, north-eastern India. This community has family houses, youth houses, a playground and football field.
Hojai is one of the three SOS Children's Villages in Assam, and is located east of Guwahati. With family houses and youth houses, we provide a new home and mum to 300 children. A family support programme runs in Hojai too, to support the vulnerable children in the community.
In the 1990s we came across 200 children from the province of Andhra Pradesh who had been bought from their parents by people who wanted to make money by having these children adopted. The little ones had ended up in a home run by the local authorities, where they were living under terrible conditions. Some children were able to return to their parents after we intervened, and others came to live at the new SOS Children’s Village in Hyderabad. It has family homes and a community programme.
The SOS Children's Village in Jaipur has family houses built in the traditional regional style with flat roofs used as sleeping areas during the hot weather. Older children live at the SOS Youth Home. We have also rented a large home in the town where all retired SOS Mothers can live.
Jammu is on the outskirts of the old temple city of Jammu in northern India, in an area where SOS Children has run several emergency aid programmes following violent clashes. The Jammu SOS Children’s Village has family houses and an SOS School which offers primary and secondary education. We also run a family support programme here to support local families.
Our Village in Khajuri Kalan in the state of Madhya Pradesh cares for children with special needs. Here, children with disabilities receive the support they need. The SOS Mothers have been specially trained to bring up children with extra needs, and all the houses have been made wheelchair accessible. Most children attend local schools, but for those who require a little more attention, we have an SOS School and Vocational Training Centre. Local children with special needs also attend these schools. We also provide healthcare to the local community from our SOS Medical Centre. In 2006, SOS Children won the ‘Best NGO’ prize in India for our work with special needs children.
In 1977 an SOS Children's Village was built in Kolkata (Calcutta), eastern India. The Village has family houses, a playground and a sick bay, which is also used by the community. In 1991 SOS Youth Homes were added to the Village, and later on, a home for retired SOS mothers was also built. We also run an SOS family support programme in Kolkata.
Latur is in the central state of Maharashtra and was at the epicentre of the 1993 earthquake. An immediate SOS Emergency Relief Programme in the area was followed by the construction of an SOS Children's Village for children orphaned by the disaster. The Latur community has family houses, an SOS Youth Home, and an SOS Social Centre.
SOS Children’s Village Nagapattinam in south-eastern India was built in response to the number of children orphaned by the Boxing Day Tsunami. The area was severely affected by the waves and many children lost their parents.
Puducherry, not far from Nagapattinam, is where our first Indian tsunami village was built. SOS Children’s Village Puducherry (Pondicherry) has family homes for orphaned children and it also runs a community programme, which mainly targets women who were widowed by the tsunami.
The SOS Children's Village in the city of Pune, in the state of Maharashtra is south of Mumbai (Bombay). The Village in Pune has family houses and SOS Youth Homes. There is an SOS Primary School here too, and a sick bay.
Raipur is the capital city of Chhattisgarh province (central-eastern India) and is well connected by road, rail and air. The Village opened in 2007 and cares for 140 orphaned or abandoned children in 14 family homes. A community programme also run here.
Rajpura is in the region of Punjab. The SOS community in Rajpura has family houses and a youth house, as well as a community programme.
Rourkela opened in 2003 following an earlier SOS Emergency Relief Programme in Rourkela for victims of the cyclone in Orissa in 1999. The Rourkela Village has family houses, and youth homes for the older children. Local families are supported through the family support programme.
Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya State in north-eastern India. The Shillong Village has family houses with a youth house, kitchen gardens, a training workshop and there is an family support programme here too.
Opened in 2004, our village in Srinagar provides a loving home to up to 80 children. There is also an SOS family support programme providing help to children and families in the wider community.
SOS Children's Village Tirupati opened in 2011 and is home to children in family houses. An SOS family support programme offers community care to people in need of its services.
Trichur is in the south-western state of Kerala. The SOS Children's Village in Trichur has family houses, and an SOS Youth Home.
Varanasi is about 10 miles from the holy city of Benares on the river Ganges, and close to the Buddhist place of pilgrimage, Sarnath. It is in Uttar Pradesh. The SOS community in Varanasi has family houses, SOS Youth Homes, a sick bay, a family support programme and an SOS Secondary School.
Visakhapatnam is in the Andhra Pradesh state, an area that was devastated by a cyclone in 1996 in which many children were orphaned. The SOS Children’s Village in Visakhapatnam, which opened in 1998, has family houses. We also run a family support programme here to support vulnerable families.
When Sirisha and Amita's mother was killed in the 2004 tsunami, they were left with no-one to look after them. The sisters had been living in Akkampetai, a fishing community in South India that was devastated by the tidal wave.
Fortunately, an SOS Children's Village in Puducherry offered the girls a loving home and the special care they needed.
It was soon clear that the girls, aged nine and ten, suffered great trauma from loosing their mother and seeing the local area destroyed. Sirisha and Amita were quiet and sensitive when they first arrived at the SOS Children's Village, and unlike other children they didn't talk or play with anyone.
With special counselling provided by SOS Children, and loving support from their SOS family, they gradually overcame their traumatic experiences. The girls started going to school, integrating with the SOS community, and became involved in their new routine.
Their SOS mother played a crucial role in their recovery, by making them feel wanted and loved. She said,
"The girls were very sad, especially Sirisha. She would often talk about her family and her mother. It was not easy for me to help her overcome her trauma and get her into a normal routine. I always talked positively with them about their future, their school and tried to involve them in different activities. I made sure that they were not left alone and I was always with them”.
With the continued support of SOS Children, Sirisha and Amita are now doing really well. They are very close, and Sirisha likes to take care of her little sister, Amita. Both are working hard at school - Amita is even top of her class. Like children around the world they enjoy all kinds of activities in their spare time. They especially love dancing, skipping and playing chess.
We are so thrilled to be a part of Sirisha and Amita's story, and to help them to regain a happy and healthy childhood. Will you support our work today, and sponsor a child in India?
SOS Children's Villages of India
Plot Nr 4, Block C-1 Institut. Area
Nelson Mandela Marg
110 070 New Dehli
Tel:+91 11 4323 9200
Fax:+91 11 4323 9292