Santa Cruz Plan 4000

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

The largest city in Bolivia, Santa Cruz is situated on the Pirai River in the eastern lowlands. It is home to 1, 9 million inhabitants, and 2.2 million people live in the metropolitan area. Located in the Amazon basin, Santa Cruz benefits from a tropical climate. Fuelled by profits from its fields, oil and gas deposits, Santa Cruz is one of Bolivia's richest towns and the most important business centre in the country. But it’s also a city where the divide between the rich and those living in poverty is particularly stark.

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Santa Cruz. And since 2012, in this particular district of Santa Cruz.

Of households don’s have access to sanitation

Lack of proper sanitation

Half of the population living in the metropolitan area of Santa Cruz still live with poor access to sanitation. Rapid population growth has made it difficult for the government to provide sanitation through sewerage networks. That’s why 182,000 households still rely on on-site sanitation – mainly septic tanks. Some of them are forced to pour the overflows of sewage in the street, generating sludge and dirty water that become sources of pollution. This lack of sanitation is linked to the transmission of diseases and the spread of epidemics; it reduces the well-being and the social and economic development of parents and their children.

Of the population share 4% of national income

Income inequality

Income inequality continues to affect the Bolivian population, a gap that is particularly noticeable in a fast-growing city such as Santa Cruz. Across the country, the bottom 20% of households have access to a share of only 4% of the national income, while 62% of this income is concentrated in the hands of the top 20% of the population. This income inequality shows that the economic growth and the exploitation of natural resources only benefit a small elite class and have not improved living conditions for many communities.

Your support makes a difference for children in Santa Cruz

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
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learning how to write. Children often have to do some homework after school (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

How your support helps in Santa Cruz Plan 4000

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.