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

Dehradun is the capital and most populous city of the Uttarakhand state in the upper north of India. Around 600,000 people live in this city, which is also home to many Tibetan refugees, living in exile since 1959. As they try to make a life for themselves in exile, they also struggle with environmental hazards in the city. Children are most vulnerable to these difficult living conditions.

Since 1984, Tibetan Homes Foundation, 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 Dehradun.

Metric tonnes of waste produced daily

No waste management in the city

Uttarakhand, the state in which Dehradun is located, has one of the worst waste management systems in the whole of India. Dehradun is no exception, without any proper waste system. Due to the overpopulation and increased economic activity in the city, Dehadrun is drowing in its own waste. Indeed, the city is producing 350 metric tonnes of solid waste daily, and most of it is dumped untreated. Furthermore, only 25% of the city is serviced by a sewage system, and this sytem is only 10% efficient. Children are especially vulnerable to the lack of waste management. Indeed, waste pollution has a negative effect on their health and living conditions.

Tibetan refugees in Dehadrun

Children as refugees

To date, two generations of Tibetans have been born and brought up in exile in India, after the first emigration in 1959. Moreover, new refugees are still travelling from Tibet, autonomous region of China. They have often suffered repression and brutality, which has led them to flee to India. An estimated 2,000 Tibetan refugees live in exile in Dehradun. Many Tibetan children are sent to Dehradun 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 Dehradun

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
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Strengthening communities and children. We work hard to make sure that children stay at school for as long as possible (photo: Tibetan Homes Foundation).

How your support helps in Dehadrun

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, which follows the Montessori method. 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 orphaned and abandoned children, SOS families 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 SOS families 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.