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

With around 350,000 inhabitants, Sarajevo is the largest city and capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city lies in the narrow valley of the Miljacka River at the foot of Mount Trebević and represents the political, financial, and social centre of the country and a prominent cultural centre of the Balkans. The wider Sarajevo metropolitan area is home to over 555,000 people and is the strongest economic area in the country.

Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Sarajevo.

Children in the most polluted cities

Damage to health and education

Bosnia and Herzegovina experiences exceptionally high levels of air pollution, and urban areas like Sarajevo, are most affected. More than 100,000 children live in the country’s most polluted cities (including Sarajevo) and outdoor pollution results impacts their health and results in prolonged school closures. Unhealthy environments not only jeopardize children’s health and well-being now and in the future, but also risks their lives, contributing to child and infant mortality.

1 in 10
Urban dwellers live in slums

Marginalized and deprived

Around 49% of the country’s population lives in urban areas with 1 in 10 people living in poverty and 1 in 12 living in urban slums. Slums are characterized as having poor access to water, sanitation, and housing, as well as limited living space. In addition, people living in slums lack secure tenure of their homes. Children growing up in poor urban neighbourhoods are more likely to experience poverty, crime, and marginalization. As such, children are at a disproportionate risk of traumatic events that negatively impact their future.

Your support makes a difference for children in Sarajevo

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and adults
Attend our kindergartens and trainings
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
SOS Children’s Villages works to protect the rights and privacy of children. As you may notice, we do not show any identifiable photos of children in this information about Sarajevo. This is because we have limited permission from the children and/or their legal guardians (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bosnia and Herzegovina).

How your support helps in Sarajevo

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.