SOS Children’s Villages of India

This NGO gives abandoned and orphaned children an environment akin to that of a regular family

SOS Children’s Villages is a home for abandoned and orphaned children. What sets it apart is that it offers an environment akin to that of a regular family. Children of different age groups live here as brothers and sisters as well as a mother in clusters. Every cluster lives in its own house and is given a middle class family budget to meet its household needs and requirements. With the children and mother staying together, sharing responsibilities as well as sadness and joys, they have a sense of belongingness. The house thus becomes a home! SOS maintains a 1:10 mother to child ratio; each village at present has 4 clusters, comprising of 20 family houses each.

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How it all began at SOS Children’s Villages

Gmeiner was a talented child and won a scholarship to attend grammar school. He also started working towards a medical degree. At the age of 21, he went on to serve as a soldier in Russia, during the Second World War. During his service, he witnessed the horrors of war, especially the injustices that children faced – from being orphaned to fathers never returning back home. Later, at the end of the Second World War, as a child welfare worker, he closely experienced the isolation and suffering that war orphans and homeless children undergo. These experiences convinced him help could never be effective as long as children had to grow up without a home of their own.

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Recognition received

The Government of India has appreciated the work of SOS Children’s Villages of India and has recommended it to other child-care organization in the country to follow this pattern.

  1. SOS Children’s Villages of India was awarded the National Award for Child Welfare – 2003-04 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India for remarkable work in the field of childcare.
  2. The Delhi State Government has given the “State Award for the best work done in Child Welfare by an institution” to SOS Children’s Villages of India in 1997.

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