President, Siddhartha Kaul
Siddhartha Kaul Siddhartha Kaul was elected President at the General Assembly of SOS Children's Villages International in June 2012.

Siddhartha Kaul first met Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children's Villages, in 1964 at the age of ten. That was the beginning of his association with SOS Children’s Villages.

His father, J. N. Kaul, was entrusted with the responsibility of establishing the organisation in India. The first village was established in Greenfields and the Kaul family started to live there. As the eldest boy in the village, Siddhartha Kaul developed a bond with the SOS children and mothers.

Siddhartha Kaul - a brother to children and mothers
Siddhartha Kaul - a brother to children and mothers © A. Gabriel

While studying Architecture, and later Liberal Arts, Mr Kaul maintained his connections with the village families. He led summer camps, and held language and math classes for the young people. This relationship to the village 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 open an SOS Children's Village in Chennai, the first SOS Children’s Village in South India. For him this was a great experience and confirmed his commitment to the ideals of the organisation.

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

From then on Mr Kaul steadily took on more responsibilities, including: the revival of the organisation in Vietnam, starting in 1988, and establishing the organisation in Cambodia. In 2001, Siddhartha Kaul became Deputy Secretary-General for Asia, a member of the Senior Management Team of SOS Children's Villages International, and an active participant in the strategy process for the organisation.

In December 2004, Asia was devastated by a tsunami and the organisation embarked on 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.

Interacting with children and mothers, be it in the villages or in the Family Strengthening Programmes, remains his priority and strength, not to mention a source of joy. Mr Kaul has received numerous honours within the organisation, as well as by governments and civil societies in countries throughout Asia.

Born 21 September 1954 in the town of Pilani, Rajasthan, India, Mr Kaul has been married to Ramma Kaul since 1985. They have two children. They live in the town of Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi. Mr Kaul speaks English, Hindi and a smattering of Sinhalese.

For a job well done - Messers Kaul and Kutin honoured in Vietnam © SOS Archives

International recognition

Mr Kaul has received various awards in recognition of his efforts to improve the lives of children:

In recognition of services 1990-2000 to the City of Dien Bien Phu/Dien Bien Phu Province - Vietnam (2010)

"MONISARAPHON" ranked a "MOHASENA" by the Prime Minister of Cambodia/Royal Government of Cambodia (2007)

Commander de la Medaille du Sahametri Royal Government of Cambodia (2003)

SOS Ring of Honour by Professor Dr. Hermann Gmeiner (1984)

Award for the cause of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Government of Vietnam (1997)

Award for outstanding contributions - Youth Union Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam (1994)

Friendship Award Government of Vietnam (1992)
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