Faridabad is a centre of economic activity in the Haryana state. However the existing infrastructure has struggled to adequately provide for a growing population and many lack access to basic services. Consequently, many families currently live in slum.
Urban poverty: a national pattern
Throughout India people are migrating from rural areas to urban areas in search of a better opportunities. Many have moved to Faridabad over the past few decades due to its good economy and proximity to the capital city. Unfortunately, the city's infrastructure has not been able to keep up. When no affordable housing was available, the newly arrived migrants created their own settlements wherever they found space, and using whatever materials were at hand.
According to some estimates around 46% of the population lives in such informal settlements. Here people live with limited sanitation facilities, electricity and safe drinking water. Access to other services is also restricted, including essentials such as health care and education.
How does poverty affect children?
Children growing up in these conditions are likely to fall ill and be malnourished. School is often a luxury, as their parent can't afford the associated fees. Most of these children will work and try to earn money to contribute to the family income. Some children have been forced to leave their family homes and now live on the streets. All of these children are very vulnerable. Living alone with no support of a family, they struggle to stay safe, healthy and well-nourished.
Working closely with the community
We work in close partnership with the local organisations and identify families in need. In addition, we collaborate with a local non-governmental organisation which provides free health care.
A central part of the work that SOS Children carries out in Greenfields is focused on supporting children and families, the majority of whom live in the slums of Faridabad. We run a number of social centres which provide services which enable families to give their children all they need for a happy and healthy childhood.
We help families understand their children's needs and rights, and provide guidance on parenting. We offer medical treatment and advice, ensuring children get preventative healthcare such as vaccinations, as well as swift support when they are poorly. To help families earn a living we offer vocational training, career counselling and advice. Families we've been working with are now able to be self-sufficient through keeping animals or selling goods like ground-nuts or clothes.
A loving home
We also provide a loving home for children who can no longer stay with their own families. These vulnerable children can live in one of the SOS families, where they grow up with SOS brothers and sisters and are cared for by a trained SOS mother.
Young people from the local community can join the SOS youth programmes, where they're supported with higher education and vocational training opportunities. In recent years, young people in Greenfields have trained as bakers, or for work in the hotel and hospitality trade.
At a nearby village called Anangpur we also operate an SOS Nursing School, which offers training and also provides accommodation for some of the students.
SOS Children supports children and families in Greenfield with long-term support and tailored services. Will you help give a child a happy childhood, and become a sponsor today?