January 27 2010

Second 'tsunami village' dedicated in Nagapattinam/India

27/01/2010 - SOS Children's Villages President Helmut Kutin dedicated the second 'tsunami village' in Nagapattinam/India, which gives 120 children a new home, on 22 January 2010.

SOS Children's Village Nagapattinam in the southern Indian province of Tamilnadu was built to take in 120 children and assist the impoverished neighbouring families with its community programmes in the area worst-affected by the tsunami five years ago.

More than 800 people from the town and surrounding villages came to the SOS Children's Village to show their solidarity with SOS Children's Villages' endeavours. Also a number of honourable guests attended the dedication ceremony.

SOS Children's Village Nagapattinam has been adding to the vibrancy in the rebuilding process of the neighbourhood in the aftermath of the tsunami. Today, more than 1,550 children are being directly supported as part of the SOS family strengthening programme.

"SOS Children's Villages is the place of hope, care and protection. I have been here many times since the catastrophe and I can see the real positive change. A good beginning has been made. I call on all of you that together we can nurture and shape the lives of children who need our help," said President Kutin.

On 26 December 2004, tsunami waves triggered by a deep sea earthquake near the Indonesian shores struck heavily and wiped out the shoreline of Nagapattinam; within minutes, the once bustling fishermen's community was left in tears, hopelessness and extreme devastation.

While working with people in the devastated zone, it was soon clear that children were the most vulnerable; many among them didn't know where their families had gone. At first, temporary child care centres were established, and the need for long-term care became quickly obvious. SOS Children's Villages decided to build two villages, one at Nagapattinam, and another at Pondicherry, with support from the government, the community and friends from around the world.

SOS Children's Village Nagapattinnam comprises 12 family houses and a kindergarten for 60 children. A social and medical centre conducts several programmes for the beneficiaries of the family strengthening programme. Since 2005, children from vulnerable families have been receiving skill training in stitching, handicraft, computers, dance, music, language courses, screen printing and boat repair.

SOS Children's Village is situated at Nagapattinam town which is the district head-quarter of Nagapattinam district. Nagapattinam beach is 800 metres away. Chennai, capital of Tamilnadu province, is 330 km north of Nagapattinam.