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    SOS Children’s Villages of India Signs MoUs with the Government of Gujarat to implement the state’s Childcare and Youth Employability Programmes

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    SOS Children’s Villages of India, an international NGO dedicated to the holistic development of children without parental care and those at the risk of abandonment, signs two MoUs with the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of Gujarat. The partnership involves providing the technical expertise by the NGO and be the nodal agency for the State’s Kinship Care and After Care programmes. The MoUs were signed here today by Mr. Manoj Aggarwal IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Mr. Sudarshan Suchi, Secretary General, SOS Children’s Villages of India.

    According to the MoUs, SOS Children’s Villages of India will share knowledge, good practices and technical expertise in designing and implementing the state-run Kinship Care through capacity building of caregivers for 125 children, who have lost parental care in and around Bhuj, Kutch District. When children have no one to care for, their relatives may extend parental care. Under the State’s Palak Mata-Pita Yojana, a welfare scheme for orphaned children, the government has invited the NGO for an effective and impactful implementation of the programme. SOS Children’s Villages of India will draw from its own successful Kinship Care Programme, which ensures that children grow up in their natural socio-cultural environment with adequate focus and supervision by the local communities, so their best interests are protected, at all times.

    Similarly, the state is keen to develop a robust After Care Programme for youth and involving SOS Children’s Villages of India in this programme implies that a strong end-to-end programme can be delivered. The NGO will employ an integrated approach in preparing 100 care leavers job-ready by mapping their skills to the job market, and providing requisite training, supporting their path to independence. SOS Children’s Villages of India will also facilitate employment for trained youth and provide life skill education for them to cope with professional work cultures.

    Commenting about the partnership with the Government of Gujarat, Mr. Sudarshan Suchi said, “It is a great honour for SOS Children’s Villages of India to be invited as a technical partner. Owing to our practitioner experience of over fifty five years, we are in a position to offer expertise of providing the best parenting templates along the alternative care continuum, which means we bring a wealth of knowledge in raising children until they are on their own towards self-reliance. The ability of creating solutions that are scalable and effective will be extremely helpful in this partnership. We have partnerships other state governments too and now to be chosen as a technical partner and nodal agency for the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of Gujarat’s kinship care and after care programmes only strengthens our commitment towards #nochildalone. We look forward to having a long standing association with the state government and hope that models such as these are scaled up and scaled out.”

    In his comments, Mr. Manoj Aggarwal (I.A.S.), Chairman, Gujarat State Child Protection Society & Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice & Empowerment Department, said: “I welcome this partnership with SOS Children’s Villages of India towards securing future of children and youth who need care and guidance by looking after their overall welfare, development and economic independence. The Government of Gujarat has no doubt that we have the best partners for this responsibility.”

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