SOS Children's Village Bhubaneshwar (also Bhubaneswar) was built in the capital of Orissa state in the east of the Indian subcontinent and was opened in 1991. The area around Bhubaneshwar is famous for its numerous temples. Khandagiri cave is a famous site and one of the most important archaeological attractions of India. The city has schools, hospitals and a market. The local population is very poor, with most families trying to earn their living from fishing. Orissa is often hit by natural disasters, such as cyclones and floods.
The SOS Children's Village consists of 15 family houses, staff accommodation, a multi-purpose hall, and the necessary administration and service area. It has its own SOS Kindergarten, where up to 40 children can be taught in two group rooms. There is also a playground, where the children can romp around and have fun. The kindergarten was opened in 1993 and is attended by children from the local community as well.
1997 saw the opening of an SOS Youth Facility at Bhubaneshwar. Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.
In 2003, SOS Children's Villages India launched its family strengthening programmes in Bhubaneshwar. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children. The Bhubaneshwar family strengthening programme provides nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support. Families are linked with existing self-help groups; if there is no group, a new one is formed. The programme also aims at raising awareness of hygiene and child rights and improving people's parenting skills.