Alibaug or Alibag is present in the Raigad District of Maharashtra. It is 30 km south of Mumbai and is easily reachable by road. The place mostly lives off its tourist related activities which includes various fishing and agriculture related activities; these activities have been a major source of livelihood for many in the area.
Alibaug has seen rapid migration of people from all across India; this shift is in their quest for a better standard of living. Since the increase in population is drastic, the area also suffers from widespread poverty and underemployment. The most affected groups of such situations are women and children, who find it hard to adapt to the changing environment. Due to this, children are forced to drop out of schools and women are left with no choice but to engage more in daily wage activities in order to support their families.
The SOS Children’s Village in Alibaug, near Mumbai, started its activities in the year 2010. There are 14 Family Homes at our facility where children are placed under the care of SOS Mothers, two SOS Aunts and two SOS Mother Trainees.
Once a child is welcomed in the SOS Family, all necessary efforts are made to cater to his/her emotional and physical needs. Children are placed under the loving care of an SOS Mother and are also helped to get acquainted with other children in the family home; children who stay together in a family home are regarded as brothers and sisters.
SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE ALIBAUG
Children in our villages are always and constantly motivated to perform better in life. Academics and co-curricular activities are regarded to be equally important for overall growth and development of a child. The provision of tuitions for children is made in all our villages, where children are rendered help and support with their studies. In addition, special coaching and training is also given to those who reflect potential in the fields of art, sports, music, dance etc.
At an SOS Village, all festivals of national and international importance are celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm. Children along with their mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and all co-workers of the village engage in celebrations that continue for the whole day; this serves as a good bonding time between the children and their family members.
At present, the total number of youth under our facility in Alibaug is 36. While some of our youth are still studying in school, others are enrolled in college. Academic results of all our children have been consistently good and have only improved over the years. In the board examination results for class X and XII, a pass percentage of 100% has been witnessed.
Various awareness programmes and sessions are held for our children in order to keep them updated about the on-going issues in our society.
While many of our youth are enrolled in well-paying jobs, others are well settled and happily married.
FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME (FSP)
The Family Strengthening Programme was initiated in Alibaug in order to help vulnerable families become self-reliant. At present, the FSP in Alibaug renders support to 644 beneficiaries under its care.
SOS India not only provides financial aid to families but also works towards their capacity building by working towards their skill development.
Another way by which such families are supported is via Self Help Groups. It is a concept where people from the same socio-economic background come together to solve common problem through mutual help.
Various training sessions and seminars are held for the beneficiaries under the FSP in order to help them realize their highest potential. The aim of an FSP is to pull out families out of the circle of poverty. Once a family becomes self-independent, it exits the programme and is replaced by a new family in need of support.