SOS Children's Village Leh-Ladakh

Youth in front of home in Leh-Ladakh, indiaSOS Children's Village Leh-Ladakh is situated on the river Indus, 7 km from the town of Leh in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The area is rather inhospitable although the scenery is quite impressive. The winters are extremely cold and there are many storms. The sparse vegetation is limited to the banks of the few rivers, and there is practically no farming. SOS Children's Village Leh-Ladakh consists of 34 large family houses, staff accommodation and the necessary administration and service area. There is a large central kitchen, where all the cooking for the SOS families is done.

The SOS Kindergarten and the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School are attended by many children from the refugee camps which have been set up in this region. The school offers classes up to grade ten. SOS Children's Villages provides daily meals to a number of refugees from the camps at its SOS Social Centre. Mothers who have to work can leave their children at the SOS Day Care Centre. The SOS Children's Village also has its own SOS Vocational Training Centre, where young people train for different jobs in the arts and crafts sector. At the SOS Medical Centre, not only the inhabitants of the village are treated but also the people from the camps.

The SOS Children's Village has two SOS Youth Facilities, one for girls and one for boys. 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.