Ciudad Ojeda

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

Ciudad Ojeda, where around 216,489 people live, is a city in Venezuela located on the north-eastern shore of Lake Maracaibo in the Zulia State. South of the city lies the Lagunillas oil field, the largest old field in Latin America. As a result, the city is home to many oil workers and their families. Over the years, the city was developed to improve living circumstances for its growing population. However, the city has also been affected by the country’s deep social and economic crisis.

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

Of families living in poverty

Children living in poverty

Families living in the area are dependent on the oil economy. During the good times, the demands of the oil fields have brought about extensive employment opportunities to the people of Ciudad Ojeda. However, depending greatly on the oil industry as a primary contributor to the economy, has its risks as oil prices change. Poverty thus persists. Families have been forced to sell furniture and even barter trade what’s left of their belongings to get food. Young adults struggle to provide for their families, and so, their children have also faced many challenges.

7 Million
Venezuelans are in need of aid

Families need assistance

While the oil fields have provided opportunities of employment for many, it has also brought on several health and environmental threats. Exposure to contaminated water, land, and food from living near oil extraction activities has left families reeling from various health ailments. To worsen matters, the unstable economic conditions have caused further social and political crises across Venezuela, impacting availability of basic services, such as access to medical care. There are more than 7 million Venezuelans in need of humanitarian aid. Many of these live in the region around Ciudad Ojeda.

Your support makes a difference for children in Ciudad Ojeda

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 attend our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Having fun in the garden. Children and young people spend a lot of time together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Venezuela).

How your support helps in Ciudad Ojeda

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 and day-care centres. 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.