Pokhara, situated in central Nepal, is the country's second largest city, with over 250,000 inhabitants. The city is very ethnically diverse, and for decades has been home to almost 4,000 Tibetans.
The high altitude and nearby Annapurna mountain range have made it a popular place for tourists and trekkers. However, sections of the population, particularly Tibetans, continue to be heavily affected by poverty and marginalisation.
A tough life for Tibetans in Nepal
There are over 20,000 Tibetans in Nepal, and 3,000 more cross the border every year. They face a difficult and dangerous journey to reach the country, and life in the camps for Tibetans is just as tough.
As they lack full citizenship rights, they are not allowed to own property or businesses, which makes it difficult for them to integrate.
Children are particularly badly affected. As well as having the same educational and healthcare needs as other children, they often also need psychological and emotional support in order to deal with the trauma of forced migration. Without this they struggle to achieve their potential.
Unfortunately, poverty and marginalisation has meant that parents struggle to make ends meet. This often means that they find it hard to fulfil their children's emotional and educational needs.
What SOS Children is doing
Our SOS Village Pokhara opened in response to the influx of Tibetans in 1975. This village works primarily with the Tibetan community to ensure that children get the right start in life.
Whilst we always try and support families in caring and supporting their children, sometimes it is impossible for children to remain with their parents. These children, and their siblings, can find a place with one of the SOS Families, where they are cared for by their SOS Mothers and given every opportunity to succeed.
When they reach adolescence they can move into our SOS Youth Home, where our trained counsellors and teachers can help them develop the skills and attitudes they need to take their next, independent, steps in life.
Children from SOS Families attend our SOS nursery and primary school with over 500 Tibetan and Nepalese children. This helps them integrate in the local community and creates a strong foundation for future cooperation.
Our training centre caters for up to 70 young people and teaches them skills, such as carpentry, IT, and electrical engineering. The onsite dormitories mean that they do not have to worry about travelling long distances to learn.
Support for young people
Young people from our SOS families in Pokhara who are ready to take the next step can move into a youth home. Here they live together with other youngsters and receive guidance and support as they make the transition into adulthood.
Providing emergency relief
Following the devastating earthquakes in 2015, we provided emergency relief to affected communities in Pokhara. We also set up two Child-Friendly Spaces where children could come and play as well as receive food and counselling.
Many children in Pokhara have already experienced so much upheaval. At our Children's Village they find security, stability and care. Will you sponsor one of these children today?