January 20 2005
SOS Children's Villages helps tsunami-hit children and families
SOS Children's Villages, one of the world's largest international children's NGOs, is helping some 2,000 tsunami-hit families (around 7,000 people) in India and Sri Lanka to rebuild their homes, communities and livelihoods.
(19 January 2005) - "Many families in India and Sri Lanka have lost either a mother or a father, leaving behind a grieving single-parent and the children who survived the traumatic experience of the tsunami. In order to give these children hope for the future, it is vital to support their struggling parents in the rebuilding of their homes, communities and livelihoods," said Siddhartha Kaul, Continental Director of SOS Children's Villages in Asia.
SOS Children's Villages identified some 1,000 children from such vulnerable single-parent families in India, who have lost their main breadwinner and are mostly headed by women. The NGO will help these families by supporting their children with education, nutrition and healthcare.
Efforts to rebuild the devastated Indian communities of Pudukuppam, Singaravalen and Akkampettai are currently underway. SOS Children's Villages has already constructed temporary shelter for 300 affected families, who will also receive cooking utensils and a month's ration of food. In addition, nine SOS Child Activity Centres are providing day-care, nutrition, therapeutic activities and psychological counselling for affected children.
In Sri Lanka, the NGO is working in and around the southern towns of Galle and Piliyandala, and is one of few organisations providing aid in the badly affected eastern coast, of which some areas are under LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) control.
Some eight SOS Child Activity Centres are being set up at refugee camps in Komari, Iralodei, Wattawan and Kayankerni. These will provide around 1,500 children with basic education and therapeutic activities. In addition, some 1,000 affected families in eastern Sri Lanka are being helped with grants to build temporary shelter, as well as buy food and other basic necessities.
A programme is in the planning in which 60 youths, aged 15 to 21, will participate in the cleaning and rebuilding process in Komari. These youths have grown up in SOS Children's Villages in Sri Lanka.
SOS Children's Villages is a non-governmental and non-denominational organisation working for orphaned, abandoned and destitute children in 132 countries and territories. It provides long-term care for some 55,000 children and youths worldwide. In addition, more than 650,000 vulnerable children and their parents are supported with educational, social and medical services. SOS Children's Villages has been carrying out humanitarian work in India since 1964 and in Sri Lanka since 1980.
For further information, please contact:
Tel: (+43-1) 3682457-2185 OR (+43-664) 140 4029