SOS Children's Village
The SOS Children's Village at Jorpati, just outside Kathmandu, provides a loving home to children with disabilities whose families can no longer care for them.
Kathmandu's population has exploded in recent decades, with many families migrating from impoverished rural areas to the urban center. With parents struggling to make ends meet, many cannot provide for the needs of disabled children. Disabled children frequently do not attend school, either for financial reasons or because of a lack of accommodations in local schools.
For families that are barely scraping by, one season of failed crops or a series of medical bills can be disastrous. Children with mental or physical disabilities in these settings often suffer health and emotional problems, illiteracy, and social marginalization.
SOS Children's Village is home to 42 children and 30 youth, plus 24 full-time staff and 35 volunteers. Five SOS families provide affection and specialized support for children, with brothers and sisters centered around an SOS mother. The village includes an in-house school that prepares the children to rejoin local schools when possible, with specialized classes for cognitive development and learning difficulties. They also have a pool for daily physical therapy sessions. Older boys and girls live in the SOS Youth Facility, where the learn to make the transition to adulthood.
The solar energy system at the SOS Children's Village will power computers, wireless routers, lights, and a refrigerator. Computer training is especially crucial for students who may have limited employment opportunities beyond school.