La Paz

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

The administrative capital of Bolivia, La Paz is home to 816,000 inhabitants – and its metropolitan area, to more than two million. It is a key manufacturing hub, and markets can be found all over the city. But the class divide here is very pronounced, with a wealthy elite and an impoverished majority living in shantytowns on the hillsides.

Since 1983, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in La Paz.

Of the population lives in extreme poverty

Children living in poverty

Across the country, 15% of the Bolivians live in extreme poverty, meaning that their basic needs, such as clean water or sanitation, are not met. Moreover, 35% live in poverty – that’s according to a national poverty line that represents the minimum cost for a basket of goods and for services necessary to adequate living conditions. Because Bolivia is a predominantly urban country with 71% of the population living in cities, that poverty is felt particularly strongly in metropolises like La Paz. Children and young people living in poverty in urban areas need support so that they can stay together and hope for a brighter future.

Of young people do not go to school

More needs to be done for education

There has been an increase in the number of children attending primary school in recent years in Bolivia. However over 25% of the students who are of official secondary school age are not going to school anymore. Around 10 per cent of the young people aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed and out of the education system. Around 40% of the total population not using the internet. All of this means that opportunities for progress, learning, social advances and economic growth are missed daily.

Your support makes a difference for children in La Paz

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Attend our kindergartens and trainings
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Reading together at home. We work hard to make sure that children and young people stay in education for as long as possible (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

How your support helps in La Paz

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.