Social enterprise supports SOS Children - Scout leaders visit SOS Village in India
When I had my son, watching children’s charities’ adverts and reading articles about the hardship children face all around the world took on new depth of meaning
- “Baby Fashion for SOS Children: an exciting new concept in fundraising”
Cecilia Crossley, Chief Executive of the social enterprise ‘from babies with love’, which donates 100% of their profits to SOS Children.
When I had my son, watching children’s charities’ adverts and reading articles about the hardship children face all around the world took on new depth of meaning.
The tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat made me feel more determined than ever to do something. Whilst shopping for my son’s clothes, I thought to myself ‘if I could buy a beautiful baby grow, at great value, on an attractive website, and know the profit helps a baby in need, why would I buy anywhere else?’ The answer is, I wouldn’t!
And so I decided to set up www.frombabieswithlove.org, the first online baby clothes retailer donating 100% of the profits to orphaned and abandoned children. Our research shows that parents care deeply about orphaned and abandoned children, and, learning about their fantastic model and important work, we’re proud to have chosen as SOS Children to receive 100% of our profits.
The first baby we’ve sponsored is a 12-month old boy from Guinea in West Africa. Sadly, his father died, and his mother was not in a position to care for him. Now, he has a new, permanent home at an SOS Children’s Village, where he can grow up safely, loved by his foster family and given an education.
We’ve just received our first update letter from his Village. The stories of his development brought a huge smile to my face – from learning about his favourite toys, to his first session at nursery school. We’ll be sharing his news with our customers, so that as well as enjoying their purchases, they can also enjoy the knowledge that they’re helping vulnerable babies around the world. Smiles all round!
We’re also part of SOS Children’s new Village in Chipata, Zambia, where the charity are building new projects to help children in a deprived area. We are contributing to building and running the new nursery school here. The nursery will care for around 90 toddlers from the new SOS Chipata Village and the surrounding community. It opens this October and we can’t wait!
Our online shop launched just a few weeks ago. As we become established and our profits grow, we’ll be able to sponsor more and more babies. SOS Children’s Zambia Director, Florence Phiri, says: “When you buy baby clothes at from babies with love you have double satisfaction! You buy a great quality, organic product, and at the same time you help a child somewhere else – double satisfaction and double benefit!”
You can visit the website now.
- "Our visit to SOS Children’s Village Bawana in India”
Glenn Hadley and Isobel Mitchell, the Scouts Hornchurch Network, Greater London North East
As our rickety rickshaw trundled out of the hustle and bustle of Rithala in north Delhi and headed down a dusty road to the SOS Children’s Village in Bawana we were full of anticipation…with just a hint of nerves.
By now we’d been in Delhi for three days, the starting point for two weeks of travelling around India as part of a scout expedition. Those three days had turned out to already be quite an experience, and we wondered what would await us at the Bawana Children’s Village.
The friendly, relaxed atmosphere provided a stark contrast to the franticness that we’d experienced so far in India. As the didi (older sister) of the Village, Sushma gave us a warm welcome and took the time to tell us all about the history of the charity, how the Village works, and the families that live there. Sushma told us that when the children arrive they have “lost their smile” but that the Village “get them smiling again and the rest will look after itself.” We were given a tour and had the chance to meet some of the children, as well as the people at the heart of the Village - the SOS mothers. These mothers work tirelessly to give up to ten children a happy and fulfilling childhood.
Our tour also included a visit to the SOS School, where a group of enthusiastic youngsters were learning about the water cycle. I can’t help but think we may have interrupted their concentration, but they were super keen to practice their English with us!
After the tour, we were given tea and biscuits (without a doubt the best cuppa we had throughout our whole trip, and we’re pleased to report that dunking is a tradition in India too!), and told some stories about children who grew up in the Village. One story was of a boy who came to the Village at the age of four, after having spent months living on railway platforms, battling with TB and other diseases. He was nursed back to health and, with the support of his new family, grew up to complete a degree in hotel management. He now works in one of the top hotels in Abu Dhabi.
Too soon, it was time to wave goodbye to the calm and peaceful Village and head back out onto the bustling streets of Delhi. Being scouts, we couldn’t leave without presenting Sushma with our unit scarf and leaving one of our unit badges for each home.
The visit to SOS Bawana proved to be a real highlight of our trip. The happiness of the children is clear for all to see and the work that the mothers do is outstanding. The whole concept of providing children with a loving home, family and mother and a good education is a simple one, and one that makes a massive difference to their lives.
We were prompted to arrange the visit as SOS Children are a partner charity of the Scout Association. We’re so pleased that went and got a first hand experience of the work that goes on, we only wish we’d had more time to spend there!