"A few days back a 6-year-old girl was crying next to her mother...without realizing her mother was dead. The police rescued and brought her to the SOS family. She was really in a stressed and traumatized state, not able to talk or express herself. She is just one of the thousands of children abandoned and orphaned due to COVID. And at SOS village we try to build a safe home and help build a new life for them" says Sumanta Khar, secretary-general of SOS Children's Villages of India."
Covid - 19 has rendered thousands of children parentless. They are on the verge of being abandoned. Many of such children have extended biological families to turn to, whose livelihoods too are threatened due to the pandemic. We aim to support such families to provide quality care to these children. Recent reports state that as many as 30,000 children have lost a parent during the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 3,000 having been orphaned by the death of both parents. There is an urgent need to provide immediate support to help children cope with the trauma of loss of a parent/s and then to establish mechanisms for ensuring their long-term needs till he/she becomes independent. It is also important to prevent opportunities for trafficking, child labor, child marriages (especially girls), child sexual abuse, and illegal adoptions.
The proposed care solutions are being decided as per the need of an individual child that would be in the best interest of very child whose parental care has been distraught/disrupted due to COVID-19. The project will make an endeavor to provide care and protection to the children at their place of residence to keep them connected with their families/communities of origin. Every child will be supported with sustained long-term uninterrupted care.
Kinship care is a living arrangement in which children without parents, are taken care full time by their kin/relatives. It is been recognized that children have the best chance of developing their full potential in a family environment. When parents are not there to take care of the child, kinship and community resources may be relied upon to provide care for such children. According to the United Nations Alternative Care guidelines, all decisions concerning the alternative care must take into accountability that the child remains as close as possible to her/his place of residence.
Our interventions safeguard the right of every parentless child to grow up in a familiar environment by strengthening the capability and income of the extended biological families, so that they can provide proper care and education, till the child attains adulthood. The child would be supported with food, education, health and clothing. Exposure visit of children would be conducted towards enhanced learning and development. This is to ensure that there is minimum disruption of her/his educational, cultural and social life. The objectives of the Kinship care program are as follows: