Siddhartha Kaul

(President of SOS Children's Villages International)

Siddhartha Kaul first met Dr Hermann Gmeiner in 1964 at the age of 10 and that was the beginning of his association with SOS Children’s Villages.

His father, J. N. Kaul, was entrusted with the responsibility of establishing theorganisation in India. The first village came into being in Green fields and the family started to live there. As the eldest youth in the village, Siddharta Kaul developed a bond with children and mothers.

While doing his studies in Architecture and later Liberal Arts, Mr Kaul maintained his connections with the village family. He led summer camps, and held language and mathematics classes for young people. This relationship grew and eventually he became “Bhaiya” (brother) to children and mothers and continues to be so.

In October 1978, SOS Children’s Villages India offered him the opportunity to godown to Chennai to establish the first SOS Children’s Village in South India.For him this was a great experience and confirmed his commitment to the idealsof the organisation. Since then his personal and professional life has merged.

In March 1981, Mr Kaul joined SOS Children’s Villages International and was postedto Sri Lanka to establish the organisation in that country. This was also the beginning of a professional relationship with President Helmut Kutin (then DSGfor Asia). In 1986, Mr Kaul moved back to India to become Regional Director.

Fromthen on Mr Kaul steadily took on more and more responsibility: the revival ofthe organisation in Vietnam starting in 1988, establishing the organisation inCambodia and eventually becoming the DSG for Asia in 2001, becoming a member ofthe SMT and an active participant in the strategy process.

InDecember 2004, Asia was devastated by a tsunami and the organisation embarkedon a major relief and reconstruction programme which was supervised by Mr Kaul.

Working in diverse social, economic, religious and political systems in Asia, Mr Kaul has learned to appreciate and value diversity.

Continuously interacting with children and mothers, be it in the SOS Children’s Village orin the Family Strengthening Programme, remains his priority and strength, notto mention source of joy. Mr Kaul has received numerous honours within the organisation as well as by governments and civil society in countries throughout Asia.