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

Savannakhet is the capital of the Savannakhet Province, and has a population of 125,000 inhabitants. It’s the second biggest city in Laos, within the largest province of Laos. Savannakhet is connected to Thailand by a bridge crossing the Mekong river. This fosters economic activity in the city. Slowly, the city is growing economically, but poverty is still present in the province, partly caused by the high dependency on agriculture. This sector is also the cause of soil erosions in the region, due to the slash-and-burn technique used in the prevalent rice production.

Since 2008, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Savannakhet.

Of children aged 11 to 14 go to school

Children are most affected by poverty

The province of Savannakhet is one of the poorest provinces in Laos, with a 27% poverty rate. There has only been a small decrease in poverty in the last five years. Children are most affected by poverty. For example only 41% of children aged 11 to 14 go to school in Savannakhet. The majority have dropped out to earn an income. Children are also most affected by food scarcity, with 28% of children in the province suffering from stunting, which is a measurement of low height for age. This is because, over the years, children do not get the food they need to grow healthily.

Of employment is in agriculture

Agriculture causing erosion

Agriculture still accounts for half of Laos’ gross domestic product, and provides 80% of employment. Rice accounts for 80% of all agricultural activity in Laos. The main rice-producing areas are along the Mekong River, which includes the city of Savannakhet. One of the production systems used in Laos is called slash-and-burn, a method that involves cutting and burning of the plants to create a field, which recovers and creates new fertile soil. The problem with this technique is that this causes erosion from deforestation. These erosions, combined with high risk of floods in Savannakhet due to climate change, make it a dangerous place to live, and children are most vulnerable in these crises.

Your support makes a difference for children in Savannakhet

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.
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Having fun in the garden! Children growing up together form bonds that last a lifetime (*symbolic photo: SOS Children’s Villages Laos).

How your support helps in Savannakhet

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.