SOS Children's Village
The first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Dr Hermann Gmeiner in Austria in 1949, to provide needy children with a family life, care and education. By 1988 there were 52 SOS Children’s Villages in 46 countries, 40 Hermann Gmeiner schools and 27 vocational training centres worldwide, providing for 50,000 children and supported by 70,000 sponsors. It is the welfare of orphaned, abandoned and destitute children that is of paramount importance in the SOS philosophy and this is achieved by providing loving home where those children can develop naturally. There is no discrimination on grounds of race, religion or creed.
The Balgram SOS Children’s Village comprises a group of approximately 20 family homes, individually known as ‘Balsadan,’ each home accommodating 10 children and their ‘Mother’. Children of different ages live in the homes as brothers and sisters and share the household chores with their Mother. They attend local schools and maintain close links with neighbouring communities. It is intended that they have a middle-class upbringing and children are helped until they can settle independently.