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

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Odisha state, located in the North East of India. Around 1 million people live in the city, which is a fast-growing commercial and technological hub, attracting many tourists. However, in the state where the city is located, 32% of people still live below the poverty line. The state of Odisha is also prone to natural disasters, cyclones and floods, with, in 1999, a cyclone devastating the state, killing around 10,000 people. Children in Bhubaneswar are vulnerable to poverty, to living conditions in slums and to gender inequality.

Since 1991, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bhubaneswar.

Of girls forced into marriage as a child

Children victim of inequality

Gender inequality is a major issue in Odisha. To illustrate, in the state, 22% of girls were forced into marriage before the age of 18. This number had already decreased from 40% in the past. 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. Furthermore, literacy rates in Odisha speak for themselves: the literacy rate for men is 84%, while the literacy rate for women is 69%. This is partly due to the fact that girls often drop out of school earlier than boys.

Of people live in slums

Children vulnerable in slums

Bhubaneswar is a rapidly growing city in India, but the infrastructure has been unable to keep up with this development. The city was built initially in the forties for a capacity of 50,000 people. As there are now over a million inhabitants, often people who move to Bhubaneswar in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in one of the slums on the border of the city. In these slums, there is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water. An estimated 30% of people in the city live in slums. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, lacking access to healthcare and education.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bhubaneswar

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 playing a board game. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Bhubaneswar

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 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.