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

With 145,000 inhabitants, Urgench is the capital of the rural Khorezm region, about 1,000 km northwest of the capital Tashkent. Living conditions in rural Uzbekistan are rapidly deteriorating, with high unemployment and widespread poverty. Although the region has traditionally lived off agriculture, the harsh climate and lack of water make living conditions precarious and offer few alternative employment opportunities. Parents often move to cities or other countries in search of work, leaving their children alone or in the care of the extended family, which may not have the resources to provide for them.

Since 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Urgench.

1 in 2
Children live in households receiving social assistance

Children are unsupported

While 54% of all children under 18 in Uzbekistan live in households, which receive social assistance, 52% of the poorest households are excluded from any national social protection. Despite poverty rates being highest amongst families with children, there has been a significant decline in benefits designed to support these families. Since three-quarters of people who live in poverty are at home in rural areas like Urgench, children in these areas are at the greatest risk of suffering the consequences of poverty. These include poor nutrition, chronic disease, and mental health problems, as well as greater gender inequality, school absence and child labour.

2 in 3
Girls are out of school

Children missing out on an education

Among children and young people in Uzbekistan, girls are twice as likely as boys to be out of school. This inequality is largely due to poverty and early marriage, which makes it impossible for girls to attend school. Empowering girls is one of the best solutions to overcome poverty because it improves girls' lives by reducing child marriage and early pregnancy. This also helps them contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Your support makes a difference for children in Urgench

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
Children growing up in our care form bonds that often last a lifetime (SOS Children’s Villages Uzbekistan).

How your support helps in Urgench

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.