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

In the east of the country, in the Altiplano, Oruro stands 3,700 meters above sea level and is home to 265,000 inhabitants. The city is undergoging many changes. The majority of the people lived off mining. But these mines shut down, leaving many families searching for new ways of making a living. Many children and young people move to Oruro from rural areas seeking better living conditions. But they continue to face many challenges.

Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Oruro.

Of the population lives in extreme poverty in Oruro

Children living in poverty

Around 46 per cent of Oruro inhabitants live in extreme poverty, which means that they live on less than $1 USD a day and don’t have a sufficient income. Unable to meet their basic needs, rural families often resort to padrinazgo – a cultural practice where parents send their children to urban areas to live with individuals for better access to education, social services, and food. But it often leads to forced labour, including domestic work and third-party businesses. These children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and violence and have little hope of obtaining formal work later in life

Of children are malnourished in Oruro

Children are malnourished

In Oruro, around one third of children below the age of three malnourished. Understood as low height for age, which implies a significant delay in growth, Malnourishment is a direct result of the economic struggles their parents are encountering. Families often cannot afford to provide an adequate diet and struggle to have enough time to look after their children as they work extremely long hours. Without those long hours there is less nutriout food, and without that nutritious food, children and adolescents cannot be active and grow healthy.

Your support makes a difference for children in Oruro

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
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Using technology to attend classes and do homework has been especially important when all schools had to shut (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

How your support helps in Oruro

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.