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

Located in the west of Bulgaria, the capital city of Sofia is home to 1.2 million inhabitants. Sofia capital district is surrounded by the Sofia province within the southwestern region of the country. The city is growing fast. Many families have moved to Sofia and its surroundings in search of a better life. Children, young people and families need support so that they can indeed improve their lives and stay together.

Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Sofia.

1 in 10
Babies are born to adolescent mothers

Young mothers

Harmful social norms, inadequate sexual education and a lack of youth-friendly health services have resulted in an environment where 30% of children under 14 years have had sexual relationships. As a result, 1 in 10 births are to adolescent mothers. Adolescent pregnancy poses health risks for mother and child, but also has a negative socio-economic effect on girls. They are often marginalized or are pressured into early marriage. Girls who become mothers at a young age often drop out of school, and this damages their future chances. More support needs to be given to young mothers and their babies so that they can both thrive.

Of Roma children do not attend school

Marginalized minorities

An estimated 10% of Bulgaria’s population consists of Roma communities. Roma children face marginalization and discrimination, including school segregation in Sofia and other regions. The education they receive is often of poor quality, they have low pass rates and high dropout rates. As a result, almost half of all Roma children in Bulgaria do not attend early education and 15% do not go to school at all. Missed education is closely linked to poverty, child labour, and child marriage, robbing children of their childhoods, and depriving them of their rights.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bulgaria

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
Playing in the garden and having fun. Growing up together, children in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria).

How your support helps in Sofia

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 one of the foster families that are selected, trained and supported by SOS Children’s Villages. The foster families live in different neighbourhoods in the town, alongside other local families. 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.