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

Bhimtal is a town located in the Uttarakhand state in upper north India, close to the Nepalese border. Around 10,000 people live in this village, which attracts many tourists for the surrounding breathtaking countryside. Due to the remote location, people living in the region struggle in difficult living conditions, with 39% of people living below the poverty line. Children are most vulnerable to this poverty, and to the prevalent child trafficking in the state.

Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bhimtal.

Girls saved from traffickers

Children do not get food they need

Child trafficking, which is the kidnapping of a child for the purpose of slavery, forced labour and exploitation, still happens in India. Children coming from vulnerable backgrounds, experiencing extreme poverty, are more prone to be exposed to traffickers. Uttarakhand tops the list of Hill states in cases of human trafficking, which could be partly due to the proximity of the Nepalese border. No exact data can be given; but in the last years, around 200 girls were saved from traffickers. The government of India has made noteworthy progress in eradicating the problem, but for now, it is not enough.

Of people live below the poverty line

Living in remote settlements

Uttarakhand, where Bhimtal is located, is mostly rural, with 70% of the population living in towns scattered throughout the mountains. This makes it hard for people to access health care and education. Health care is not always available locally and many cannot afford to travel and pay the medical fees in urban areas. Furthermore, there is a lack of proper roads and transportation possibilities. This makes economic development in the area difficult, with 40% of people living below the poverty line in rural areas.

Your support makes a different for children in Bhimtal

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Brothers helping each other out with school work. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Bhimtal

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. 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 trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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.