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Care, kinship mark 60th SOS Day at SOS Children’s Village

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SHILLONG, June 23: Along with the rest of the country, the SOS Children’s Village, Shillong commemorated the 60th SOS Day with a grand celebration at their Umiam campus, marking the birthday of the organisation’s founder, Dr Hermann Gmeiner. The event was graced by Cabinet Minister Paul Lyngdoh, who served as the chief guest.
Established in 1996 and operational since 1999, SOS Children’s Village Shillong offers long-term care to 159 children and youth, with additional outreach through its Family Strengthening Programme and Kinship and Individual Foster Care, benefiting 459 children in total. The village operates under the provisions of the Care and Protection of Children Act and is dedicated to providing a family-like environment for the destitute and abandoned children.
The day’s events began with a tribute and garlanding of Gmeiner’s bust, followed by a visit to family homes and a communal lunch. The formal programme commenced with the lighting of the lamp by Minister Lyngdoh, accompanied by performances and speeches by the children and staff. Highlights included a welcome song, cultural dances, and personal testimonials from an SOS Mother and Child.
In his speech, Minister Lyngdoh praised the efforts of SOS Children’s Villages India in transforming the lives of vulnerable children.
Referring to a song presented by the children of the SOS home, Lyngdoh added, “One of the lines of the song that the kids have presented before us where they sing ‘you are my chosen family,’ There’s a line that said, we don’t need to be related. That’s a very significant. We don’t need to be related to be a family,” he said.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks and continued cultural performances.
SOS Children’s Villages operates in 135 countries, with the Indian chapter starting in 1964. The organization continues to impact thousands of lives through its unique care solutions, fostering a supportive environment for children in need.

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