Faridabad is close to New Delhi, India's capital city. Like in many other parts of India, people are increasingly moving from rural to urban areas in search of better opportunities.
Faridabad is particularly attractive to migrants due to its healthy economy and proximity to the capital. However, a growing population has placed pressure on the city's infrastructure, and many often arrive to find a lack of housing and basic services.
Many living in slums
Newly arrived migrants in Faridabad often have to build their own dwellings using improvised techniques and materials. Although government interventions have tried to create housing and improve infrastructure, sprawling slums are becoming a problem in the city. Some estimates suggest that as much as 46% of the population occupy such informal dwellings. There is a lack of sanitation facilities, electricity and safe drinking water. Access to services including health care and education is also scarce.
A child growing up in poverty is more likely to get ill and be malnourished. Many such children will work rather than go to school, so that they can contribute to their family's income. When their parents struggle to afford to care for them, these children are at risk of losing parental care. Some may leave home permanently and take to a life on the streets. Alone, they must try to keep safe, healthy and nourished.
How do we help children in Faridabad?
SOS Children has been working in Faridabad since 1984, with the support of local authorities and community-based organisations.
If children can no longer stay with their parents, they can find a caring home with an SOS family. Here, they are cared for by an SOS mother. The SOS school in Faridabad educates children at primary and secondary level and since 1990 there's been a special section for commercial and technical training.
When they are ready to to leave their SOS family, young people can join the SOS youth programmes. Here they are supported to engage in higher education or vocational training opportunities. The economic boom in the area has made the job market more competitive, so it is important that we give young adults a professional or technical training.
At Faridabad there is also a training centre for SOS mothers and co-workers as well as a home for retired SOS mothers.
SOS Children giving hope to a community
As well as providing care, we also help families and children in the local community. SOS social centres provide crucial services such as healthcare and daycare which families would otherwise miss out on, as well as workshops on important topics such as children's rights and hygiene practices.
As well as vaccinations and medical treatment, we provide food and other essentials when families need it. However, our primary aim is to help on the road to independence, and we do this by providing literacy classes, career guidance and skills training. Many of the families we support now earn money through cattle rearing or vegetable farming.
Will you sponsor a child today? By doing so, you will support our important work in Faridad, which gives hope to vulnerable children and families.