FOTCOO

Our partners

Why is your support so vital?

Through fundraising and the support of several loyal friends, we have raised enough money to support the 300 children at PUSS and to assist SOCH in the past. But every year the costs in India rise and there are several thousand children in Odisha living on the streets, in railway stations and in otherwise unsafe conditions. These children are vulnerable to illness, exploitation and trafficking and our aim is to help as many children as we can to find safe accommodation and to attend school.

Read on to find out a little more about our partners in India.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Mother Teresa

Our partner PUSS INDIA

Many of the children arriving at PUSS are rescued from incredibly sad circumstances. Their Mothers may be working as prostitutes which leaves them vulnerable to exploitation, or their families may live in destitute conditions in the slums and be unable to properly care for, feed and educate their children. They sometimes have a difficult time settling in, but the care and support the children receive from the staff means that once settled in the loving home, they are able to thrive.

The girls receive food and education in the care of PUSS, many of the girls are provided with full time accommodation also, some are bought to the school from the slums each day by bus (the bus having was generously funded by one of our supporters). The teachers go out into the local community to raise the importance of education for girls as many are still kept at home to care for siblings or elderly relatives while their parents look for work.

Several of the PUSS girls are accomplished “karateka” (karate practitioners) and many compete in state and national championships. There are also girls competing in athletics and they love to learn to dance, both modern and traditional Oriya dancing.

What happens when the girls leave?

We are often asked what happens to the girls when they finish their education, we hope to be able to provide more information on our “graduates” in the future. But we were heartened to receive an update on two girls recently…

…Manoj Kumar of SOCH told us that while attending a conference about institutional care he happened to meet two young women who had left PUSS some years ago. He took them to see the on-going rehabilitation programme at the Matt and Del Page Memorial Rehabilitation Centre and the PUSS Director Kuku told us a little about their history. One of the girls had spent thirteen years at PUSS, she came from a very poor ‘tribal’ family because of family violence and poverty and has since then helped her parents to stay together. She now lives at home with her family and has a good job in a local organisation.

The other is the daughter of a prostitute from the city, who had been at PUSS for four years. She has since then completed a diploma in electronics and telecommunications; she also has a good job and is planning to go to University.

To find out more about the work of PUSS, visit their website.

Our partner SOCH (Society for Children)

Society for Children (SOCH) is a non-profit organisation which has teams at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Puri Railway Stations. It works to rescue children who are lost, missing and have run away from their homes. The main philosophy of the organisation is that the safest and happiest place for children is at home with their family. Therefore, the first step the organisation takes after rescuing a child is to contact the family and to understand the complex reasons why the child is missing from home. SOCH works with the child and their family to provide support and education so that the parents and children can maintain a healthy relationship in the future. In certain circumstances, it is not possible to reunite a child with their family. In these cases SOCH works to find safe accommodation for the children. Providing support, counselling and rehabilitation as appropriate so that children are not expected to work, beg or otherwise be in potential harm.

SOCH also run a residential course for children from especially troubled backgrounds. Providing food, accommodation, counselling and training or education to enable children to return to the formal school system upon completion.

The founder of SOCH, Mr. Manoj Kumar Swain, was born and brought up in a small village in Odisha. He did his bachelor’s degree in chemistry before joining Tata Institute of Social Science. During this time, he became aware of the extent of child exploitation in India and decided to do all he could to help. Working first for a national NGO supporting street children before he founded Society for Children (SOCH) with a few like-minded people in July 2012. Since then SOCH have rescued over 3500 children from the streets and railways of India.

To find out more about the work of SOCH, visit their website.