April 26 2006
Special SOS Children's Village opens in India
25/04/2006 - In April, an SOS Children's Village in Khajuri Kalan for children with special needs was officially opened in the presence of numerous government officials and SOS Children's Villages representatives.
Shri J.N. Kaul, President of SOS Children's Villages India, emphasised the particular importance of the project in Khajuri Kalan in his opening speech: "It is our duty to give children a chance for a better life. However, the fact that we are able to reach out to these children, who have special needs, is a dream come true. It is a great responsibility to help them become productive and as independent as possible."
SOS Children's Villages India wishes to guarantee these children all-encompassing long-term care and numerous different support programmes through this ambitious project. The village was built on a plot provided by the government of Madhya Pradesh 40 km away from the city of Bhopal, and is fully accessible to people with special needs.
At present, 48 children with varying special needs live in the new SOS Children's Village, which is seen as an exemplary model in the field of care for children with special needs, as in India, structures and specialised facilities are insufficient and inadequate.
The care being offered is all-encompassing and integrative: the SOS families are smaller than in the conventional SOS Children's Villages, and the SOS mothers, who have completed one and a half years of intensive training, are assisted by an additional care-taker. All areas in all twelve family houses are special needs friendly.
In order to guarantee that the children receive individual attention, openly-built buildings offer them physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and kinesitherapy. Another building houses a medical centre offering the SOS children medical care, and it includes an outpatient area offering care to children from the SOS Children's Village's neighbouring area.
Since the activities of SOS Children's Villages started in 1964, the organisation there has grown tremendously. There are 39 SOS Children's Villages in India today (including some under construction) as well as 122 additional facilities such as kindergartens, schools, social, medical and educational centres and family strengthening programmes. Numerous emergency relief programmes have been carried out in India during the past decades.