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

Samarkand, the second largest city in Uzbekistan with 320,000 inhabitants, is located 290 km south-west of the capital Tashkent. With a poverty rate of 21%, many children live in homes that are often very basic, with no electricity, gas, running water or heating. These children are very vulnerable to exploitation: many do not go to school but work to earn some money for the family.

Since 2006, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Samarkand.

1 in 10
Children is not in school

Children are forced to work

In addressing child labour, the city of Samarkand banned children under 15 from picking cotton, however, thousands are still forced to do so every year. Child labour is a leading cause for children missing school in Samarkand; at nearly 5%, the city is above the national average for out-of-school children The consequences of a poor educational background can be profound, from slower progress in learning and worse prospects for future employment, to restricted social and emotional development, increased vulnerability to abuse and exploitation.

1 in 10
Marriages involves children

Children risk malnutrition

Samarkand has the highest rate of child marriage in Uzbekistan. Almost 5% of all marriages in the region involved children, constituting 36% of all child marriages in the country. Almost all of these are girls. Early marriage violates a girl’s right to education. When girls marry young, they miss out on developing the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to find a decent job in their future. As a result, it becomes very difficult for girls to escape the vicious cycle of poverty.

Your support makes a difference for children in Samarkand

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
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Hiking outside and having fun together. If children cannot grow up with their family of origin, we support them to form lifelong bonds in an alternative family environment while ensuring that siblings stay together (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan).

How your support helps in Samarkand

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 training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own 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.