Children in our care growing up together - the care and support of SOS Children’s Villages will help them flourish (photo: SOS Children’s Villages).

Latur is a city located in the Maharashtra state, in the centre of India. It is the second most populous state in India and has around 500,000 inhabitants. The region of Latur is known as the Sugar Belt of India, due to the 11 sugar factories in the region. However, poverty still exists in the state: 20 million people live below the poverty line. Children are at risk in these difficult living conditions – they need extra support so that they grow up healthily and can get an education.

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Latur.

Children live with HIV/AIDS

Children live with HIV/AIDS

An approximate 2,5 million people live with HIV/AIDS in India, of which 70,000 are children. The Maharashtra state, where Latur is located, has the highest number of people living with HIV in the whole of India, 330,000 people to be precise. Of those people, 13,000 are children. Furthermore, annually, 9,000 people die of AIDS in the state. This is 15% of all AIDS fatalities in India. Children who live in families affected by HIV/AIDS often face stigmatization and need to look after themselves and their siblings.

Of girls were married as a child

Children forced into marriage

India has the highest number of child marriages in the world. This means a harrowing 27% of women aged 20 to 24 were first married before 18. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancies, and domestic violence. In the state of Maharashtra specifically, where Latur is located, 26% of girls were married as a child. The government has to work hard in order to meet its target to end child marriages by 2030.

Your support makes a difference for children in Latur

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.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care playing Carrom in the garden (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Latur

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to empower parents. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to 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. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.