UTC-Led Community Partnership to Improve Young Lives in India

7/17/2014

As part of UTC’s commitment to the communities where it does business, the company recently announced a major new partnership with SOS Children’s Villages India entitled Project Vidya, which is a Sanskrit word for education. The initiative will provide quality schooling, mentoring, and support to children living in SOS villages across nine cities in India.

The international SOS Villages network is premised on providing parentless and abandoned children with a nurturing environment where they can grow up to their full potential. An SOS Family consists of 8-10 children, both boys and girls, who live with their SOS Mother. After the age of 14, the boys move on to a Youth House to continue their care and growth. SOS Children's Villages India aims to ensure that children receive the education and skills training that they need to be successful and contributing members of society.

The SOS model is based on four principles: every child has a caring parent; every child has family ties and they grow up with a sense of responsibility and a spirit of sharing; every child has a place where she feels secure and has a sense of belonging; and every child has a community that surrounds them, so that every child has roots.

The UTC-funded Project Vidya launch, led by UTC India CSR Council Chair Palash Roy Chowdhury and SOS India Secretary General Rakesh Jinsi, took place in the SOS Children’s Village in Faridabad, India (near Delhi). The event was marked by the unveiling of the Project Vidya logo and a painting competition among children in the village. Senior leaders and employees from UTC India and its local business units also participated at launch events in seven other cities: Alibaug (near Mumbai), Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Bhubaneshwar and Bhimtal (Uttarakhand).

Speaking at the launch, Palash Chowdhury said, “At United Technologies, social and environmental responsibility is at the heart of our business. This includes promoting growth and vitality in the communities where we operate. Formal education is the most significant means to providing children with the knowledge and life skills necessary for their advancement, and UTC is proud to partner with SOS Children’s Villages in this initiative. The family environment at SOS Children’s Villages provides self-assurance to the children, which is the cornerstone of each child fulfilling his or her potential.”

Project Vidya will make a difference in the lives of 800 orphaned children throughout India. Aimed at improving academic performance, the program will pave the way for participants to develop sustainable livelihoods and financial self-reliance. Through UTC’s volunteer program, employees will share their time and expertise, encouraging the children to become active members of society. 

"UTC and SOS Children's Villages share common values of pioneering innovative approaches, nurturing relationships and being reliable partners to achieve sustainable progress. We are confident that support through Project Vidya will contribute to sustained growth, development and an overall well-being of the local communities," said Chris Rao, Head – Bangalore CSR Chapter, UTC India.

“We believe an environment where children are empowered with resources and skill enhancement opportunities is the best means to progress. Our goal is for this program to play a pivotal role in empowering them to make progress and, indeed, shape their own future,” added Prakash Bodla, Head - Hyderabad CSR Chapter, UTC India.

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent non-governmental and social development organization that has been providing loving homes to vulnerable children worldwide since 1949. The India chapter celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and is now the largest operation in the worldwide SOS network, which operates in more than 130 countries. Through Project Vidya, UTC becomes one of the top three charitable partners for this organization in India.

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