A beautiful city, Srinagar is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. As much as it is a popular tourist city, Srinagar and its neighboring areas are often affected by terrorism. As a result, people here live a difficult life of un-rest and poverty. This also affects the children’s familial life and education; they are left abandoned as a result of these unforeseen calamities.
SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE
SOS Children’s Village in Srinagar became operational in April 2004 with 22 children residing in three families. Under the Family Based Care Programme, the children live with families consisting of a mother and other children who are regarded as their brothers and sisters. They are loved, looked after and belong to the SOS Family.
SOS Village Srinagar is home to 52 once parentless children. Our children live with seven SOS Mothers and five mother trainees. Celebrations of all important festivals take place enthusiastically and peacefully in SOS Srinagar; all SOS Families come together and celebrate days of national and international importance.
In addition to these, several workshops about health, hygiene, career counselling and more also take place regularly for the holistic development of children.
At the age of 14, our youth boys are shifted to the Youth House where they are taken care of. There are 41 youth boys living in the youth house of SOS Children’s Village in Srinagar. Various activities are regularly organized to ensure positive development of the youth. They not only take part in, but also win championships like Taekwondo, chess, football etc. Besides this, our youth also takes part in cleanliness drives, health camps, vegetation camps that are organized throughout the year. In months of turmoil in the valley, all boys were also admitted in free community tuition facility. Our youth are now doing well in academics as well as extra- curricular activities.
Although the boys do not stay with their SOS Mothers, their mothers can visit them on weekends and they celebrate all festivals together. Their love and bond remains strong and unbroken.
FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME (FSP)
Under this Programme, SOS Srinagar works towards self reliance of the community. Educational, health and nutritional support is provided so that the families can come out of the vicious web of poverty. We also help them reap the benefits of various Government schemes.
Presently, the FSP in Srinagar consists of 440 beneficiaries in total. With the efforts of SOS India, incomes of the caregivers have increased and there has been a significant improvement in their living standards.
(A) Self Help Groups
Various Self Help Groups have also been organized that hold monthly meetings to discuss and solve problems. These SHGs aim at helping families become sustainable and solving their problems by discussions, meetings and pooled resources. Women Self Help groups help to provide a platform for the caregivers as well as facilitates their empowerment.
FSP in Srinagar also has a Children’s Club and Bal Panchayats that has emerged as an effective medium for the development and empowerment of the children. At various locations under the programme throughout the year, workshops related to child rights, reproductive and sexual health, awareness programmes on importance of education, social evils etc. are conducted to build life skills in children and help them in decision making and personality development. Our programmes over the years have not only helped the families to have economical support but also gave them a platform to come forward and help each other, discuss problems and find solutions with each other.
HOW TO REACH
The SOS Children’s Village in Srinagar is 27.2 km away from the Badgam Railway Station.
It is at a distance of 31 km from the Srinagar International Airport.