SOS Children’s Villages – Some sort of Loving Home For Every single Child
“The love of a family is life’s perfect blessing” – Anonymous
It was a chance encounter at an airport with an old friend. My old friend Sandilya informed me that since retiring he had been volunteering as the non-executive chairman of the SOS children’s villages in India. I was intrigued by the description of his of a community designed solely to help bad orphans. “Come and visit,” he urged.
That is how my wife Girija and I ended up at the village in Tambaram, in the outskirts of Chennai. The man in charge of that specific village, Mr. Varadarajan, revealed to us around and spelled out these villages that offer a house to destitute kids who have lost both parents.
The special feature of SOS will be the house mother – the Chennai centre has fifteen houses, each because of its own’ mother’ who sends up the children. In Oxford Homes to make a family environment, each mother takes responsibility for delivering up around ten children, of different age groups, like in every other big family. She oversees a monthly budget and manages all of the kids, being reliant on the more mature children chip in on the activities.
Even though the village administration, school, medical facilities and auditorium are maintained by the SOS village administration class, each household is independently operated through the home mothers, who tend to be females which are single with the singular set of abilities plus temperament had to oversee a large, hectic household.
They are selected extremely carefully and experience training courses for a few years before they’re deemed fit to have charge of a home. The interaction among kids across houses is similar to those of neighborhood friends. The Chennai centre has its own primary school, so neighborhood high schools in Tambaram is attended by the older kids.
One of the houses were visited by us. Only several young kids had been home with the mother; additional kids had been at school. The mother proudly showed us photographs of several of her’ children’ who were now grown up and married. They stayed in contact with her. In fact, that very day one of several grown kids was getting married and the complete village was slated to attend the wedding ceremony.
The majority of the children that were raised in the villages successful in life: doctors, other workers and engineers which are working hard in India and abroad. Several retired mothers now are living with the adopted children of theirs. Many well-to-do siblings look after the less privileged young children they grew up with.
SOS is a global organization created by Hermann Gmeiner in Austria. Hermann’s own mother died when he was youthful and he was brought in place by his elder sister. As a soldier during the second World War, he was confronted with the travails of orphans and homeless children and was convinced that the best solution was for them to become adult in a family. This conviction resulted in his setting up the first SOS Children’s village in Imst, Austria.
The SOS organization continues to grow to more than 132 countries around the world, supporting around 60,000 kids. SOS came to India in 1964 and today has around forty villages supporting 6,000 children directly. Furthermore, an outreach program covers another 15,000 kids.
Having visited several homes for orphans and destitute kids, I was impressed with the simplicity as well as scalability of the SOS Children’s village’s model. I’ve been urging some other types of NGO’s to find out from the SOS unit. Please do share examples that you have come across in giving a support base and leg up to destitute kids.