SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: Tibetan Children’s Villages).

Bylakuppe is a town in the Karnataka state, in the southwest of India. Around 70,000 Tibetans live in exile here, in the second largest Tibetan settlement in the world, with the first emigration starting in 1959, and new refugees still arrivingAs Tibetan refugees try to make a life for themselves in exile, they face man challenges, including food insecurity. Children are most vulnerable to these difficult living conditions.

Since 1982, Tibetan Children’s Villages, an independent charity which is partly supported through SOS Children’s Villages' sponsorships, has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bylakkupe.

Of children are underweight

Children are malnurished

Food insecurity is still recurrent in Karnataka, where Bylakuppe is located, and many people still suffer from acute hunger. Parents in Karnataka state struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 32% of children are underweight. To be more specific, 35% of children in Karnataka experience stunting (low height for age), a result from undernutrition. Furthermore, 19% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.

Tibetan refugees in Bylakuppe

Children as refugees

An estimated 70,000 Tibetan refugees live in exile in the settlements in Bylakuppe. They have often suffered repression which has led them to flee to India. The scars of such experiences remain with them. Many living in the settlements do not have Indian citizenship and they are therefore unable to buy land. Young adults without Indian citizenship have to pay foreign student rates to study at Indian institutions, and can only afford it with the help of scholarships. Many Tibetan children are sent to Bylakuppe by their parents who see this as the only way that their child will obtain a Tibetan education.

Your support makes a different for children in Bylakuppe

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Learn at out kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Learning together at school. Children in our care attend kindergarten and school, and receive a good education so that they can live independently in the future (photo: Tibetan Children’s Villages).

How your support helps in Bylakuppe

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education, in accordance with their Tibetan beliefs. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Due to the great number of children in need of care, somes homes may have up to thirty members and sometimes even more. The village has its own grocery store, bakery and communal kitchen. All the children in our care have lost parental care; while some children have no living parents, others have parents who are in Tibet, in other locations throughout India, or have moved further away.