London: Hollywood couple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard have recently opened a village for orphaned and abandoned children in India.
The SOS Children’s Village set up in Alibaug village in northeast India, will accommodate 140 children, who will live in small groups in individual family houses and go to a nearby school.
The couple, which is the global brand ambassadors of SOS International, said they were overwhelmed by the response they received when they visited the village.
“I’ve never been greeted like this by anyone, I’ve never seen anything like this,” a news daily quoted Gyllenhaal as saying.
“I tried not to have any expectations... I have never been to India before so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s exceeded anything I could have imagined,” she added.
Sarsgaard said he is optimistic that the village will change the lives of those who live there.
“Everyone involved really believes in what they are doing. There is a real sense that this is different... the way everyone reacts and participates is ideal,” he said.
The couple toured the village and met the families living there before they were treated to a traditional dance at a dedication ceremony.
The village has been built in partnership with lifestyle brand Esprit.