Shillong, Meghalaya

Children from Shillong, IndiaSOS Children's Village Shillong

SOS Children's Village Shillong was opened in 1999.  It is situated about 12 km from the city of Shillong on a green hill covered with pine trees.  The SOS Children's Village is located just off National Highway no. 40, near Umiam lake.

SOS Children's Village Shillong consists of twelve family houses, staff accommodation, a multi-purpose hall and the necessary administration and service area.  It has its own playground where the children can romp around and have fun.  The sick bay at the SOS Children's Village provides basic medical care for the inhabitants of the village and the population of the neighbourhood.

Other SOS Projects in Shillong

Smaller children are looked after at the SOS Nursery School, which is also open to children from local families.  In the city of Shillong, there are several markets, schools, colleges and other educational institutions.  The city also has hospitals and other medical facilities.

2007 saw the opening of an SOS Youth Home at Shillong. 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.

In 2004, SOS Children India launched its family strengthening programmes in Shillong.  These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together.  SOS Children works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

The Shillong 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 Shillong

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India and the district headquarters of the East Khasi Hills District.  The population is more than 250,000 and has steadily grown from the small village in the 1860s.