Situated in Maharashtra, Latur lies in the Marathawada region and is 500 km away from Mumbai. The city functions majorly within its industrial and agricultural sectors and has seen a rapid increase in its economy over the last couple of years. Despite of trying to improve the literacy rate in town, the average still remains to be only 79 per cent and that has led to an increase in the poverty rate of Latur.
In addition, there are reports that assert the increased number of HIV/AIDS sufferer in the city; Latur is one of the cities that have an estimate of having about 25,000 children with the same disease. This has led to major discrimination in the city and people with even a hint of the illness are deprived of opportunities to earn a livelihood.
SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE LATUR
SOS Children’s Village in Latur was established as a response to the disastrous earthquake that struck the town in 1993; a lot of children were left parentless during the calamity. Emergency aid by SOS India was given to the affected area and help was given to as many people as possible.
Our village in Latur has been a home to many parentless and abandoned children. SOS India believes that no child should grow up alone and that is exactly what we do here. Children in our village live in Family Homes that are headed by our SOS Mothers. Every child is nurtured with love, care and affection and is given a chance to live and grow up in a family that he/she can call its own.
At present, the total number of children under our care is 131. All children at SOS India are enrolled in formal schools and are also given tuitions for additional academic related assistance. Various training programmes and workshops are organized for children at the village to help them realize their highest potential. At the village, all festivities are celebrated with great enthusiasm, where all children, mothers and co-workers actively take part; this serves as a good bonding time between children and their families.
At present, the total number of youth under our care at our facility is 102. While many of our youth are attending school, the rest are pursuing their bachelor degree courses; vocational training is also provided to many. The academic records of all our children have been consistently good, especially in the 10th and 12th Board Examinations.
Various seminars are conducted by SOS India on topics like Personality Development, English Communication, and Entrepreneurship Skills etc. in the premises of the village.
FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME (FSP)
The Family Strengthening Programme in Latur was initiated to support underprivileged families and help them become self-sufficient. At present, the total number of beneficiaries in FSP Latur is 939. SOS India through this programme not only provides financial help to people but also works towards their skill development for which, various training sessions are held by SOS India. In addition, children who come from families under the FSP are given tuition classes and are motivated to become self- sustainable.
Another means by which families are helped is through Self Help Groups (SHGs). Under this concept, families belonging to the same socio-economic background resolve common problems by mutual help. At present, 25 Self-Help Groups are functional and are working for the development of people.
HOW TO REACH
SOS Village in Latur is 5.1 km away from the Latur Railway Station.
It is at a distance of 19.7 km from the Latur Airport.