A journey towards Strengthening Families – Family Strengthening Programme
Families experiencing crises or extreme hardships may have difficulty caring adequately for their children, and often this can lead to child abandonment. Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) in India is a preventive measure whereby families belonging to the most vulnerable sections of society, those who are lost in the quagmire of poverty, face social discrimination and many other challenges to make ends meet, are strengthened to avoid abandonment of children. Such families often belong to below poverty line category and are caught up in the vicious cycle of economic, socio and cultural deprivations. Under the FSP, we work with families and communities to help them build their capacities so that children are taken care of and their overall development does not get hampered, thereby reducing the risk of abandonment. FSP interventions are an important part of strengthening families programmes that range from providing essential services to children, such as education, health and nutrition services, livelihoods for families and capacity building of caregivers and children to become sustainable leading to their self-reliance
Key Family Strengthening Interventions:
Provide Essential Services to Children & Building Capacities of Families and communities
Education/ academic support and counselling
Overall Well being of the child
Awareness generation and community mobilization on issues affecting children
Creating sustainable livelihoods and build capacity to enhance financial literacy
Skill training including vocational training and personality development to enhance employability
Create and strengthen SHG’s and promote them as Community Development agents
No child should be at the risk of losing parental care and every child has a right to be nurtured so that they may reach their full potential. Therefore, the FSP has till date reached out to more than 35,000 children and their families in rural areas and urban slums at 31 locations, across 22 states/UTs. Spanning over the period of 3 to 5 years, the family strengthening programme in India aims to strengthen families to become self-reliant and reach greater dignity by ensuring holistic development of their children, building capacities and income generating skills of their caregivers.
A journey from zero to a million - Kalyani and her daughter Ramya, beneficiaries of SOS India FSP Bengaluru
Up until 2002, Kalyani had a blissful life along with her husband and daughter Ramya. But fate decided otherwise and misfortune befell on her. She lost her husband to cancer and the family’s savings came to naught; all of it spent on her husband’s treatment. Kalyani moved into her brother’s house with Ramya. Without any income, she had to depend on her brother for even basic essentials such as food, clothing and school fees. After due evaluation, SOS India enrolled her in its Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) and ensured Ramya’s educational and nutritional needs were met.
Kalyani left her brother’s home and lived in a small, rented accommodation. Her sustenance was a meager income from domestic chores but she started selling ladies-wear and kids-wear door-to-door to supplement her income. With FSP’s support, she soon opened a tailoring shop next door. In time, Kalyani’s income grew to Rs. 7,000 per month, enabling her and Ramya to live life more respectably.
With newfound stability at home, Ramya was able to concentrate on her studies and clear her Class X and PU exams with 96% and 97% aggregate, respectively. While pursuing her B.Com, Ramya wanted to study Chartered
Accountancy too. But she had to pay INR 58,000 at the beginning of the course, an amount that Kalyani could not afford. Recognising Ramya’s academic brilliance, SOS
India decided to support her. In 2016, Ramya completed both B.Com and CA courses and landed a job immediately with Infosys – earning a pay packet of INR 10 lacs per annum.
"It was a great support extended by SOS to our family when we were in distress. It is not only for my education but also for my mother to earn her livelihood. Today, everyone respects us as I have done CA and got a job with decent earning. It is all because of the support extended by SOS. We will always be thankful to FSP throughout our lifetime. In fact, I would love to volunteer by teaching kids and motivating them during weekends." – Ramya