SOS Children's Village Lumbini is situated near the town of Siddharthanagar, Rupandehi district, Nepal. It is near the Indian border and very close to the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, important to both Hindus and Buddhists.
Siddharthanagar is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims alike, which means that it has become a major commercial town. However, this has had little impact on overall living conditions and people trafficking to India is a major problem for the area.
Tourism has brought many jobs to the region, for example, in hotels or working as guides. This has attracted growing numbers of people, which has put a massive strain on local infrastructure and means that services like electricity and clean water are severely limited.
This unplanned growth has also resulted in severe environmental degradation. These conditions have affected people's health, which in turn puts pressure on already meagre incomes due to medical expenses and inability to work.
Children at risk
Severe poverty has particularly affected the lives of women and girls from poor rural families. Nowhere is this more apparent than in relation to human trafficking into India.
These marginalised young girls often lack even a basic education. They rarely understand their rights and are easily lured by promises of a glamorous life in Indian cities.
In reality they usually end up in very hard working conditions as domestic maids or are forced to work in brothels. Education is key to combating this trend and giving girls the opportunity to succeed in life.
What is SOS Children Doing?
In Lumbini we saw a desperate need for more family based care facilities. We opened our SOS Children's Village in 2010, and continue to work with the local community to give children the opportunities they deserve.
Our 15 SOS Families give children who can no longer be cared for by their parents, a place to live and be loved. Their SOS mothers care for them and their siblings, and help them get the right start in life.
Our nursery provides services for up to 80 children from the local area. It offers them pre-school training and prepares them for success in the future. It also gives children from SOS families the chance to integrate fully with the local community.
Working with the community
By collaborating with the local community we are able to identify and help children who are struggling in school, by offering them additional support and tuition to overcome challenges.
We also host a number of events and activities, such as traditional celebrations and sports, that help to bind the community together. Local children have even set up their own club (the Lumbini Child Club) which promotes the welfare of children in all sections of the community.
With the support of SOS Children, orphans in Lumbini are given hope for a future with family. Will you help make this work possible and sponsor a child today?