22 April 2009

Earth Day Every Day at SOS Children's Villages

April 22, 2009: SOS Children's Villages is committed to the environment as it continues to provide loving homes for orphaned, abandoned and neglected children in nearly 500 Children's Villages throughout the world.

SOS Children's Villages environmentally-friendly initiatives include a water conservation project in India, a green Village in Nairobi and teaching the principles of Earth Day to children in SOS Children's Villages worldwide.

Water Conservation Project in India

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SOS Children's Villages - India recently partnered with the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola India to implement a wide-reaching water conservation project.

The project will provide sustainable, clean water by harvesting rainwater and will improve water conservation and artificial recharge resources for SOS Children's Villages in India.

The historic collaboration is currently underway at SOS Children's Village Faridabad, located just outside Delhi in the heart of India.

Efforts to expand the project to all 39 SOS Children's Village in India will be completed by early 2010.

"It is a great step toward improving life at SOS Children's Villages," said Sri S. Sandilya, president of SOS Children's Villages India. "It will not only ensure sustainable water resources for the future generation, but it will also bring to our children clean and plentiful water today."

The project is expected to help improve water resources for nearly 6,000 children growing up in SOS Children's Villages in India and will impact thousands more who use SOS medical and educational facilities.

"We are excited to be partners with SOS Children's Villages in this project as this partnership not only creates sustainable water resources for children but will also raise awareness amongst them on water conservation," said Atul Singh, president and CEO of Coca-Cola India.

Nairobi Village Uses Green Technology

Gardens at the SOS Children's Village Nairobi
Gardens at the SOS Children's Village Nairobi

The SOS Children's Village Nairobi in Kenya treats and recycles its water in a water treatment plant, which is used to irrigate vegetable plots and provide water to the Nairobi Village.

The 21-stage water purification process provides clean water to grow nutritious vegetables in the garden for children at the Village, and extra produce is sold to provide income used to maintain the Village.

The plant helps keep a plentiful supply of water to the Village, especially when rain is scarce during dry season.

Earth Day at SOS Children's Villages

Children decorate recycled milk cartons for Earth Day at SOS Children's Villages Daegu
Children decorate recycled milk cartons for Earth Day at the SOS Children's Village Daegu

Children learn about the importance of environmental sustainability during Earth Day celebrations at many SOS Children's Villages.

At the SOS Children's Village Daegu in South Korea children made their own slogan as part of their Earth Day festivities: "Keep the Earth pollution-free; it's our right to grow up in a healthy environment."

The children also wrote Earth Day messages on recycled paper milk cartons with a small herb inside. The children gave the decorated milk cartons to community members as gifts.

"I painted a plant on the milk carton, wrote a message and put herbs inside!" exclaimed six-year-old Chua from the Daegu Village.

Last year, children from the Greenfields, Faridabad and Bhayana Villages in India celebrated Earth Day by participating in a painting competition to raise awareness for the environment.

Over 100 children painted canvasses including subjects like Mother Earth, the water cycle, how to recycle and how to stop pollution.

Some of the children's paintings were even selected for a 2009 Coca-Cola calendar promoting environmental conservation practices.

In the Gambia, children continue to learn about the environment as they celebrate the fifth anniversary of winning the prestigious President's National School Environmental Award at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School (Lower and Upper Basic).

As you celebrate Earth Day festivities, think green by sending a free Earth Day eCard to a friend and consider sponsoring an SOS child today.