SOS Children's Village Sanothimi

SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi is the first Children’s Village in Nepal established in 1972. It is situated just the outskirts of the Kathmandu city and the western border of the Bhaktapur district, about 15 minutes’ drive from the Tribhuvan International Airport. Although it is close to the city, it is away from everyday hustle and bustle of the city life. Near the Village flows the Manohara River separating two districts Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi integrates to the wider community of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality and the education offices of The Government of Nepal.Madhyapur Thimi is well-known for earthenware, masks puppets, traditional hand woven clothes and other handicrafts. The Prajapatis (kumhals) are potters by caste who make clay pots.The women of the pottery community weave their traditional clothes in their own traditional handlooms.Thimi is popular in pulp masks also. These masks have traditional and cultural importance. The masks painted with goddesses and demons are used in their cultural performance and dances. The beaten rice, the production of Thimi is very popular in the Kathmandu valley. Thimi has a unique celebration of Bisket Jatra- a festival- just next to the celebration of New Year of Hindu calendar. In this celebration the tongue piercing ceremony is found only in Thimi community.Near the Children’s Village lies an old city Bhaktapur which is also called an open museum or the living museum. There we can see the life style, structure and architecture of the houses similar to the 16 century construction. Bhaktapur's main square, Durbar Square, houses the 55-window  In three kilometers north of this city, on a hillock, erects grandeur of the architecture, art and craft- the monument of a son to a mother- the Changu Narayan Temple. This is one of the temples of Lord Vishnu in Kathmandu valley standing affirm witnessing the history since 15th century.  

SOS Children’s Village is comprised of 31 buildings in its premises. Within the Children’s Village there is Hermann Gmeiner School established to satisfy the education need of the children of the SOS Children’s Village and the local community which generally bridges the Children’s Village to the local community. Actually the school has a great help to integrate the Children’s Village to the wider community. Within the village complex there is a Ceramic Training centre which provides training to the people of the local pottery community. A medical dispensary is operated in the community hall- in the centre of the village- for the need of children, mothers and other coworkers. Three houses for the retired mothers are made in the Village which neighbor to the two guest houses. A water tank is erected in the village which provides water from the source within the village. The water service from the municipality is not reliable; therefore, the Children’s Village has to manage its own resource. At the front of the Village there is a temple of Pashupatinath where children and mothers do their prayer. Just near the gate, there are guard house, drivers’ quarters garage for the vehicles.  The National Office of  SOS Children’s Villages Nepal is also located in the premises of SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi.There are 16 family houses for the children in the village. Each family house has a capacity of accommodating 10 children and 1 mother. Altogether the Children’s Village Sanothimi has capacity to accommodate 160 children in it. The children come from almost all over the country. The children represent all the 5 development regions- from Far East to far west and all geographic regions from north to south. It is, therefore, a very good mixture of caste culture and ethnicity.

The children’s village Sanothimi celebrates almost all the festivals. The Christ Mast and New Year are celebrated with enthusiasm in December and January.Holi becomes so exciting festival for the children in February/March. , Ram Nawami and Buddha Purnima are celebrated in April May. Mothers’ Day is celebrated with great interest.The big festivals of Hindus- Dashain and Diwali are celebrated in September/ October. SOS day, International Children’s Day are also celebrated with different child centered programme.Since the village has been over 40 years old, there are many marriage ceremonies of grown up boys and girls every year in the marriage seasons. The birthday ceremonies of the children are a regular feature. Apart from these there are many cultural ceremonies and rituals observed.Apart from the school hours from morning till afternoon, children are involved in different activities. They have different clubs for these activities. Martial Arts Club, Music Club, Dance Club, Painting Club involve most of the children in leisure hours.

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