Children in our care growing up together - the care and support of SOS Children’s Villages will help them flourish (SOS Children’s Villages India).

Around 100,000 people live in the city of Nagapattinam, which is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in South East India. The main economic sector in the region is fishing. Sadly, the region is very prone to cyclones and other natural disasters, and was devastated by the tsunami of 2004. Furthermore, gender inequality is an issue. Many girls are still forced into marriage before the age of 18, and literacy rates in the Nagapattinam district speak for themselves: the literacy rate for men is 89%, while the literacy rate for women is 77%. Offering equal opportunities to children needs to become a priority.

SOS Children’s Villages began supporting children and families in Nagapattinam in 2007.

Girls are married before the age of 18

Children are forced into marriage

India has one of the highest number of child marriages in the world. This means a harrowing 27% of women aged 20 to 24 were first married before 18. 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 Tamil Nadu specifically, 16% of girls were married as a child. Child marriages are common due to gender inequality and the patriarchal social norms in India. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.

Cyclones hit Indian coasts yearly

Children are vulnerable for disasters

The state of Tamil Nadu, and especially Nagapattinam, was devastated by the tsunami of 2004. In the city alone, around 6000 people lost their lives. Not only did it destroy lives, families, and houses; it also had a massive impact on the fishing sector and its infrastructure, leaving many people without any income. With help from the government, the city was equipped with better roads and facilities, like tsunami-proof houses. On average, 3 tropical cyclones make landfall in India each year, and in 2018, disaster struck again in Nagapattinam, with cyclone Gaja, leaving a trace of destruction. Children are most vulnerable to these natural disasters, losing their homes and families.

Your support makes a difference for children in Nagapattinam

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
Brothers playing board games and having fun together. Children who grow up in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Nagapattinam

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.