Chennai, Tamil Nadu

india-chennai-b.jpgSOS Children's Village Chennai

SOS Children's Village Chennai in the south of India was opened in 1979. It is situated at a distance of about 30 km from the city centre, in the suburb of Tambaram.

The SOS Children's Village consists of 14 family houses, staff accommodation, a multi-purpose hall and the necessary administration and service area. When the family houses were built, particular attention was paid to the architectural tradition of South India. The bedrooms, the mother's room and the living room are grouped around a small inner courtyard.

Other SOS Projects in Chennai

In 1989, an SOS Primary School was opened. It has seven classrooms and includes an SOS Nursery. Both nursery and school are attended by children from the SOS Children's Village and from the neighbourhood. In the city, there is an SOS Youth Home, which consists of an SOS Youth House and a flat. Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Home when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.

The SOS Children's Village has its own SOS Medical Centre which includes a clinic and rooms for counselling. There are seven rooms for medical treatment and two sick beds for in-patients. The SOS Medical Centre focuses on health programmes for the local community, such as information campaigns on birth control or HIV.

In 2003, SOS Children's Villages India launched its Family Strengthening Programmes in Chennai. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

The Chennai Family Strengthening Programme provides nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support. Families are linked with existing self-help groups; if there is no group, a new one is formed. The programme also aims at raising awareness of hygiene and child rights and improving people's parenting skills.

Background to Chennai

Chennai (Madras) is the largest city of South India with over 4 million inhabitants.