Situated on the banks of river Ganga in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is one of the most ancient living cities in the world; the city is also known as Kashi or Benaras. Varanasi is famous worldwide for its religious importance, temples, Ganga Ghats, culture, traditions, music and the craft of silk weaving.
The population in Varanasi has seen growth and an increase in number over the years. However, the city does not have adequate housing facilities to keep pace with the same. The problem of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment continue to be of great concern in Varanasi.
In addition, gender inequality is also a persisting issue in the city. This results in high drop-out rates of girls from school; girls are also forced into child labour and human trafficking.
NGO in Varanasi
The SOS Children’s Village in Varanasi was established in the year 1984. It is one of our largest villages all across India. At present, the village caters to the needs of 168 children. These children are nurtured by 17 loving SOS Mothers and six SOS Aunts, who provide them a family to grow up in. Emotional and developmental needs of all children in our care are catered to under the Family Based Care Programme in SOS India.
At present, the total number of youth under our care is over 90. While many of our children are still studying in school, the rest are enrolled in colleges and are pursuing their bachelor’s and master’s courses.
Our youth are always encouraged to perform better in life. Not only do they work hard to excel in academics, they also actively take part in co-curricular activities like sports, music, art etc. Various workshops and awareness programmes are organized for youth by SOS India, where they are educated about topics like importance of health and hygiene, female foeticide and many more. In addition,interactive activities like drawing/painting competitions, quiz competitions, kho-kho match etc. are also conducted for the boys.
(A) Hermann Gmeiner School
The Hermann Gmeiner School located in Varanasi has shown a significant improvement in the academic records of its children over the years. The pass percentage of children taking the board exam has now reached 100%, which is a tremendous achievement in itself.
The school organizes a number of exposure visits and activities for children in order to groom them better and give them hands on experience.
FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME (FSP)
The Family Strengthening Programme in Varanasi was initiated with the aim of uplifting vulnerable families out of the vicious circle of poverty. Not only does SOS India provide financial backing to these families, it works towards capacity building of people coming from these families in order to help them become self-sufficient.
At present, the FSP in Varanasi has under its care a total of 659 beneficiaries. The various activities organized by SOS India for these families include celebration of significant occasions, drawing and painting competitions, awareness workshops on health and sanitation and many more like these.
HOW TO REACH
The SOS Children’s Village in Varanasi is located at a distance of 16.1 km from the Varanasi Railway Station.
It is 34.1 km away from the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Babatpur, Uttar Pradesh.