thyssenkrupp Elevator works closely with SOS Children’s Villages in India. The best example of this is Project SEED, which helps disadvantaged young people find and keep good jobs. And SOS Children’s Villages runs other essential projects as well. One example: the family strengthening programme, which helps poor families stay together.
One of the key areas of the work for SOS Children’s Villages is providing stable, secure, and loving care in a family setting for children who have lost their parents or cannot live with their biological family any longer. Nevertheless, the best way to care for abandoned or orphaned children would be to help them and their biological families before the family breakdown. That’s the reason why SOS Children’s Villages has created and established its family strengthening programmes around the world to help families stay together and to prevent crises that can eventually to child abandonment. The family strengthening programme works proactively with at-risk poor families to keep them together.
The family strengthening programme (FSP) supports over 36,000 children and families at 32 locations in 22 states all over India. Single mothers and widows are particularly socio-economically vulnerable and are one of the main target groups for FSP. All of these families live below the nationally-defined poverty line.
FSP in India helps families in several ways. Most essentially, it supports basic nutrition and health, and works to ensure that the families being supported have at least the minimum amount of food and fresh water needed to survive. Additionally, they are treated for illnesses, particularly those associated with poverty and malnutrition.
Healthy and well-fed children learn better, and FSP helps ensure that they also have a school to attend. But education isn’t just for kids. The family strengthening programme also helps empower mothers to create economically sustainable lives for their families by offering remedial literacy and numeracy training, self-help support groups, and access to information.
FSP also offers entrepreneurship training and support for small business creation. For instance, on the outskirts of the city of Pune, the family strengthening programme is helping women to develop businesses in areas such as floral arrangement and goat-milk production.
The idea is to build on a partially preexisting or easy-to-learn skill, and to transform that into a business. The goal is break out of the vicious cycle of poverty, and establish a new self-reinforcing cycle of income generation, self-reliance, dignity, family stability and resilience.
Uma’s story is typical of the challenges facing many families in India as well as how the family strengthening programme of SOS Children’s Villages in India is helping families to eventually help themselves – and stay together.
Strengthening families reduces the risk of new orphans or homeless street children. That’s a big benefit. But the family strengthening programme also strengthens communities. After all, a community is simply a group of individuals and families – and the more of them being able to take good care of themselves, the healthier the community becomes. And a socially well-balanced community offers better support for its families and individuals, ultimately removing the need for additional outside assistance.
As well as providing good jobs for its many employees in India, thyssenkrupp Elevator delivers much-needed financial support to SOS Children’s Villages.
thyssenkrupp Elevator also shares its other resources with the child welfare organization. The company contributes its professional knowledge and caring people to Project SEED, which offers training to unemployed young people. That program successfully trained three groups of kids in 2018. Read more about these young graduates in the next PERSPECTIVES story from India.
Our social work in India aims to improve social balance and quality of life by helping youth become employable, independent adults.To the project