April Round Up

SOS Children’s Villages of India, a home to nearly 7,000 children, young adults and more than 440 “mothers”, residing in our facilities spread across 21 states & union territories, so far, have successfully kept ourselves protected from the onslaught of the virus. The sense of responsibility which was exemplified by our children & youngsters in maintaining cleanliness, personal hygiene and social distancing, both inside their “family home” as well as in their village campus and adherence to the advisories from their SOS mother & co-workers have helped a lot in keeping the virus out of the four boundaries of our campuses. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed us into maintaining social distancing but we have challenged ourselves to remain hyper connected through the Internet and isolate Covid-19 instead. 

Challenging the darkness of COVID-19 by lighting candles

On 5th April, millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles/diyas or turned on mobile phone torches, responding to PM’s appeal to show the nation’s “collective resolve and solidarity” in its fight against coronavirus with this symbolic gesture. Our children and youth across all Children’s Villages also lit candles to “challenge the darkness” of Covid-19. They all prayed for the lives lost, safety for those who are fighting this battle and for general health and well- being of all.

Jammu Self Help Group members link with Laxmi Welfare Society for making masks

Amidst these difficult times, members from our Family Strengthening Programme communities are coming forward and depicting situational leadership. Through dedicated efforts made by Mr. Jagir Das, Village Director (SOS Children’s Village Jammu), Family Strengthening families part of our Self Help Group in Jammu, have been linked with Laxmi Welfare Society (associated with Women Cooperative of Jammu) for making face masks. These SHG members have successfully completed an order of 4000 mask, earning INR 8/per mask. While making the face masks, they followed social distancing and other guidelines for their safety. Through this activity, these women have not only earned money during these tough times, but also a sense of purpose and the feeling of having contributed meaningfully.

FSP Bhubaneswar, Kujimahal community became a Good Samaritan for Dalua community

Two neighbouring Family Strengthening Programme communities in Bhubaneswar have shown a great example of resource sharing, during this crisis situation. The two communities, i.e. Kujimahal and Dalua are 3.5 KM away from each other and the inhabitants of both the communities, have a very good relationship. Last week, PDS supported these communities with 15kg rice and wheat for each family. And they all needed some dry vegetables desperately. The supporting hands from Kujimahal community was extended for all the 155 families in Dalua community, with the provision of potatoes and onions. The quantity of potato and onion for each families was 2kg and 500gm respectively. A goods carrier loaded with the items in 155 packets were sent to the village.  And then with special permission from local police and rightly maintaining lockdown protocol, distribution of these materials was done.

Youth co-worker in SOS Rourkela shares his personal musical instruments

During the lockdown period, the Youth are always staying inside the home to maintain social distancing, which is a very stressful situation for them. And with the help of our teams various activities have been organized for them to engage like English Speaking classes, Computer Learning classes, Yoga, Cooking, Watching TV, playing indoor games etc. But all these activities are still not enough for the Youth to utilize their energy. Sometimes they even get stressed about not being able to go out. Music being one of the best ways to cope with stress, our Youth co-worker, Mr. Lambodara Sahu initiated some of the boys in learning music. And for this he shared his personal musical instrument with the boy’s whole heartedly. Two boys, Siba Mundari and Rahul Samasi have started learning Guitar. In the whole day, they have fixed 2 hours in the morning and evening to practice the instrument. Siba and Rahul both think that learning and practicing Guitar is just like meditation for them. They are taking the best benefits from these Guitar classes. Both the Youth boys are enjoying their learning and hope to cover the basics of Guitar before the lockdown period ends.

Vocational Training boy, Amit initiates to protect his village people

Amit Adhikrao Patil is one of the students of Fire Engineering and Safety Management who is learning Vocational Training course under HSBC project. In this stressful situation of Covid-19, Amit stepped forward to do social work for people in his village. He gathered 40 friends from his 10th (batch 2015-16) pass out, who are living in Khed Gaon. All these batch mates contributed INR 100 to 125 each and collected a total amount of INR 5,000. They then used this money to buy masks for people’s safety. The surprising part was that these masks were made by his 40 batch mates itself. These boys, collected the money, brought home-made masks and distributed them among the poor and needy people in old and new Khed Gaon on 27th April, 2020.

Fight against coronavirus is making our SOS Mothers, elder girls and boys wearing many hats

When the news of COVID-19 reached the Children’s Villages, as a courageous team everyone came together and figured out ways to protect our children and everyone living inside the village premises. Following the laws of the government, outsiders were banned. This led to the realization that everyone who came to the village played such an important role in keeping the Children’s Village neat and clean. But upholding social values, it was decided to make use of the existing resources i.e. the human resources – our SOS Mothers and children. The pillars of SOS India and the flowers that bloom under our care, enthusiastically came forward to take the responsibility of keeping the village beautiful. They are making sure that the office and pathways are always clean, plants and trees are watered timely. Youth house boys are also not behind in keeping the premises of the youth home and its surroundings neat and clean.

Family Strengthening and USDC Training Centre, Pune together raise awareness on COVID-19

One of our Youth Skilling partners, USDC Training Centre in Pune, Maharashtra has joined hands with Family Strengthening Programme Pune for raising awareness on the novel coronavirus amongst Youth and their families. For this, our youth from various communities undergoing skilling courses at the centre created an innovative poster.

“Not just a success story: It’s our innovation”, Kochi youth boys!

In these difficult times, our youth across the country are utilising their time wisely. The Youth boys at Children’s Village, Cochin watched a programme on television explaining “how to make sanitizers at home”. They discussed the idea with their Youth leader, Mr. Vishnu Manoj and procured the required raw materials. They not only manufactured good quality sanitizer but also made a video to explain the process. The main boys behind the production are Ambadi & Mohammed Amal. Both the boys are very proud that they could create a product which is useful, smells good and feels smooth. In fact, the entire SOS Family is proud of these young heroes doing such great work.

SOS Hojai adhering to social distancing guidelines innovatively

SOS Children’s Village Hojai has gone a step further to adhere to the social distancing guidelines, by addressing everyone through a PA system. Every Saturday, the Village Director addresses all the children and SOS mothers, wherein he mainly discusses safety measures to be followed and also interesting tasks are given to each family home. Then thereby, following their assigned activities, videos are made of children and SOS Mothers outside their respective homes. These videos are then shared in the Children’s Village WhatsApp group, which is accessible to all the SOS mothers and other village officials.

Balpanchayat leader, Mukesh spread awareness among children about COVID-19

Mukesh, our Balpanchayat leader was aware of the critical nature of COVID through newspaper as well as other media channels. When he saw the community children loitering around and playing outsides, he decided to step up and spread awareness. He taught them how this spreads, how it impacts, and how the virus can be fought by washing hands and social distancing. To ensure the children are following all this, he regularly keeps in touch with them through phone, and has even engaged a few enthusiastic children with him in awareness generation.

World Earth Day 2020 celebrations

We celebrated the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The connection that we have with nature, plants, and the land is integral to our health and all that we are. Earth Day reminds everyone to take care of our planet and us – whether it’s cleaning up litter, planting more trees, recycling and repurposing, or going on a walk in a green space amidst the wildflowers. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we organized awareness panting activity among Youth and through those paintings they spread awareness about the effects of COVID-19 to their colony members. This activity was overall very energetic, informatic and helpful for youth development. All the children really enjoyed painting, keeping in mind all the precautions. At some locations, children even depicted their feelings through face masks, paintings and plantation of saplings to celebrate this day.

Children and youth engaging in online classes

Children across all Children’s Villages and Family Strengthening Programme locations are happy, engaged and positive. At the same time, the co-workers are also keeping in mind to keep their learnings on. Children across all our locations are engrossed in their online classes. Apart from online classes, there is personalized coaching, teaching learning materials on the web links, worksheets sent through WhatsApp, and English coaching. Initially bit skeptical, the children have become hands on with digital learning.

Death Anniversary of Dada Ji (Dr. Herman Gmeiner – Founder, SOS Children’s Villages)

On 26th April, the entire SOS Family saluted the great Herman Gmeiner aka Dada Ji on his 34th death anniversary. Dr. Herman Gmeiner was a miraculous man who believed that all the children of the world are our children. He also said that, “Every big thing in the world only comes true, when somebody does more than he has to do”.

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