SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America, it has a population of 12 million and a varied geography, from the rugged Andes Mountains in the west to the lowland plains of the Amazon Basin. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982 after a series of coups and countercoups, but the Bolivians continue to face poverty, social unrest, illegal drug production – and the aftermaths of natural disasters, like the El Niño floodings in 2008. Despite recent economic growth and socioeconomic progress, Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in South America. As a result, 7 to 16 percent of the population leaves the country to seek jobs abroad.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Bolivia since 1968.

Children are at risk

Poverty, education, malnutrition, mortality – Bolivia ranks as one of the countries with most challenges in several areas of health and development. Education opportunities are not evenly distributed, with girls, indigenous and rural children less likely to start or to complete primary school. With approximately three children per woman, the high-fertility rate is mostly due to a lack of education and family planning services. The scarcity of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to preventable health problems. Children are particular vulnerable to these challenging social realities. .
Of Bolivia’s children are forced to work

Child labour

In a country where agriculture and mining are some of the main economic activities, child labour remains a key issue that threatens the individual and collective future of children and young people. 14% of children aged 5 to 17 are forced into child labour. They are often subjected to its worst forms, including commercial sexual exploitation, mining, or conducting dangerous tasks in agriculture. The Bolivian law does require that apprentices attend school – but it does not set a minimum age for participation in apprenticeships. .

Of young people are not in education, training or working


In Bolivia, 10% of young people aged between 15 and 24 years are unemployed and out of the education system. In urban areas, 23% of young people of upper secondary school age is not in school. Only 45% of those aged 18 to 22 attend higher education. As a result, they don’t develop the skills to improve their economic situation. Their income often falls below the poverty line and they are at risk of becoming socially excluded.

Under-five mortality rate in Bolivia


In 2020, 6,300 Bolivian children died before reaching their fifth birthday. This number is a key indicator for child health and well-being – and for social and economic development, too. The births of 8 % of these children were never registered, meaning they are denied that first step towards the protection of their individual rights. Children without official identification documents can be denied health care or education and in many cases they can more easily be forced to marry or work before the legal age.

Together we can make a difference for children in Bolivia

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Attend our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Playing outside in the garden. SOS Children's Villages supports families in creating an enabling environment where their children can develop and flourish (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and train parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives