SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

Alwaye, now called Aluva, is a part of the city of Cochin (or Kochi), a port city and the most populous city in the state of Kerala. Around 3 million people live in the larger metropolitan area, located in the South West of India.Cochin is one of the fastest growing Indian cities, and very attractive for IT business. The state of Kerala, in which the city is located, has a Human Development Index (that is calculated on education, income and health) score of 0.79, the highest of all states in India. However, Cochin’s infrastructure struggles to keep up with the rapid growth and many people end up unemployed or living in slums. Children are also victims of child marriage.

Since 1990, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Alwaye-Cochin.

Of girls were married as a child

Children are forced into marriage

India has the highest number of child marriages in the world. This means 27% of women aged 20 to 24 were first married before they were 18 years old. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancies and domestic violence. In Kerala specifically, 8% of girls were married as a child. The government must work hard to meet its national target to end child marriage by 2030.

Of young people are unemployed

Children are vulnerable to poverty

Cochin is one of the fastest-growing cities in India, but the infrastructure has been unable to keep up with this development. There is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water. In addition, the unemployment rate is high, 40% of young people aged 15 to 29 are unemployed. Often people who move to Cochin in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in slums at the border of the city. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, and to the lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. They often lack proper access to food.

Your support makes a difference for children in Alwaye-Cochin

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care having fun playing a board game. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SSO Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Alwaye-Cochin

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to empower parents. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.