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

Borovljany is a small town in central Belarus, located only around 14 kilometres north-east of Minsk, the country’s capital. With a population of nearly 2 million, over 20% of the whole Belarusian population resides in Minsk. Outside of the city, the region mainly consists of rural towns and villages, where many families live off small subsistence farms and household plots.

Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Borovljany.

1 in 3
Of those living in poverty are children

Children living in poverty

Despite great improvements in national poverty levels, life in Belarus can still be challenging, especially for those living in rural areas. Work is scarce and wages are low. Less than 20% of the Belarusian population are children, however they account for over 33% of those living in poverty. The risk of poverty is higher for children with siblings or those in single-parent families, with parents struggling to support their family on a single income. Without additional support, families can find it difficult to stay together.

Young people in Belarus are not studying or working

Young people at risk

For young people in Belarus, it can be difficult to become independent: 14% of young people aged between 15 and 24 are not in school, at work or receiving any vocational training. Work is limited in the rural towns and villages across Belarus, especially for young people. Without opportunities to get a good start into adult life, young people can find themselves in difficulty, with substance abuse and mental health issues becoming increasingly common among young Belarusians.

Your support makes a difference for children in Borovljany

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
Time to spend some time together at the summer camp that is organized for children and young people (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Belarus).

How your support helps in Borovljany

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 right, and also training to find employment. In addition, we provide care to mothers, babies and children in crisis. This include supporting young mothers after they have had their babies.
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. Many of the children grow up in foster families. 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.