January 3 2005
SOS Children's Villages helps thousands of children in tsunami-hit zones
3 January 2005 - Thousands of orphaned and displaced children, as well as vulnerable single-parent families, in the worst-hit tsunami zones of India and Sri Lanka are receiving relief aid from SOS Children's Villages. So far, the international children's welfare organisation has setup 13 Child Relief Centres for some 5,600 children in southern India. In addition, a team of SOS Children's Village employees are on route to the completely devastated northern Indonesian province of Aceh, to asses the situation and possible aid measures.
In and around the devastated southern Indian towns of Nagapattinam, Kanyakumari, and Cuddalore, SOS Children's Villages has set up 13 Child Relief Centres providing some 5,600 children with humanitarian aid such as food, clean water, clothes and medical care. Therapeutic activities such as drawing, painting and singing sessions are also being organised for the children.
In the worst-hit areas of eastern Sri Lanka, shelter, food, clean water and medical supplies is being provided to thousands of children and their families at the SOS Social Centre in Morakkatanchenai, near Batticaloa. The centre is also functioning as coordination centre for the further distribution of aid to the eastern and south-eastern coastal regions. In fact, due to its already existing infrastructure, SOS Children's Villages were among the first to enter several areas controlled by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), such as the village of Vakarai.
In addition, SOS Children's Villages will be issuing grants to help some 1,000 severely affected families in India and Sri Lanka to rebuild their lives. This includes helping families from the fishing sector in eastern Sri Lanka, whose entire livelihoods were destroyed by the natural disaster.
The organisation will offer family-based care for some 500 children at its already existing children's villages in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. For children who cannot be reunited with their families, SOS Children's Villages aims to construct new children's villages in these countries.
SOS Children's Villages is a non-governmental organisation providing long-term care to some 55,000 orphaned and abandoned children in 132 countries and territories. In addition, over 650,000 needy children and families worldwide are provided with educational, social and medical services.
All facilities operated by SOS Children's Villages in the earthquake and tsunami affected regions remained virtually undamaged. The umbrella organisation of all SOS Children's Villages worldwide is SOS-Kinderdorf International and has its headquarters in Austria.
For further information on the humanitarian work of SOS Children's Villages in the tsunami-hit regions of south Asia, or to organise interviews with SOS field staff in the region, please contact: