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

Kazakhstan’s previous capital city, Almaty, lies in the south-east of Kazakhstan at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountain range and remains the largest city with a population exceeding 2 million people. While most people in the city work in financial services or in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the surrounding area is rural, where half of the population lives off agriculture. Salaries paid in the city are amongst the highest in the country, but the benefits of the economic development are not equally distributed throughout the city´s population.

Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Almaty.

2 in 5
Of children live in poverty in Kazakhstan

Urban poverty

The majority of Kazakhstan’s unemployed population - that is 58% - lives in cities. In Almaty, the unemployment rate is estimated to be above the national average, exceeding 6%. This is thought to be the result of urban migration where rural families move to cities in search of better prospects. But, in many cases, they do not have the skills that are needed, and they cannot find employment. As a result, children in families living in poverty survive precariously on the margins of society, in, or at risk of falling into, poverty where their basic needs can no longer be met.

Children living in institutions in Kazakhstan

Children with disabilities at risk

Around one quarter of all children who live in institutions in Kazakstan have biological parents. But, for a variety of reasons, the children cannot live with them. Children with disabilities are particularly at risk: social norms and a lack of support mean these children are often not well cared for at home. They are therefore placed into state institutions. But here they at risk of isolation, physical violence, forced sedation, and neglect. Receiving little education, as well as facing poor treatment, these children are left without adequate skills and support for life outside of the institutions.

Your support makes a difference for children in Almaty

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.
Can stay together
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Playing the piano together. After school, and during weekends and holidays, children spend a lot of time together and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Kazakhstan).

How your support helps in Almaty

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.
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.