Tibetan Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: Tibetan Children’s Villages).

Bir is a village located in the Himachal Pradesh state, in the upper north of India. Around 1,000 people live here, at the foot of the Himalayas. In the sixties.Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama into exile, and started a Tibetan Colony close to Bir. As they try to make a life for themselves in exile, they face many challenges, including food insecurity. Children are most vulnerable to these difficult living conditions.

Since 1993, Tibetan Children’s Villages, an independent charity which is partly supported through SOS Children’s Villages' sponsorships, has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bir.

Of children are underweight in Himachal Pradesh

Children are malnurished

Himachal Pradesh, where Bir is located, is one of the best performing states in terms of human development indicators. However, many people still suffer from acute hunger. Parents in Himachal Pradesh, where Bir is located, struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 25% of children are underweight. To be more specific, 30% of children in Himachal Pradesh experience stunting (low height for age), a result from undernutrition. Furthermore, 17% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had enough quality food.

Tibetan refugees in India

Children as refugees

To date, two generations of Tibetans have been born and brought up in exile in India, after the first emigration in 1959. Moreover, new refugees are still travelling from Tibet, autonomous region of China. They have often suffered repression which has led them to flee to India. The scars of such experiences remain with them. An estimated 90,000 Tibetan refugees live in exile in India. In Bir, a Tibetan colony was founded, with monasteries and institutes. Many Tibetan children are sent to Bir by their parents who see this as the only way that their child will obtain a Tibetan education.

Your support makes a different for children in Bir

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.
Learn at out kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Studying at school. In addition to providing care for children in Bir, we also ensure that they can also go to school and attend further training (photo: Tibetan Children’s Villages).

How your support helps in Bir

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education, in accordance with their Tibetan beliefs. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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. Due to the great number children in neeed, many homes may have up to thirty members and sometimes even more. All the children in our care have lost parental care; while some children have no living parents. Others have parents who are in Tibet, in other locations throughout India, or have moved further away.