Astana, in the Akmola region, is the current capital of Kazakhstan and has a rapidly growing population of more than 1.2 million people. After becoming the new home of the government, the city received huge investment in construction and development, attracting many workers.
Kazakhstan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with more than 75% of the country exposed to natural hazards. Some areas of Kazakhstan, including much of Akmola, are almost completely dependent on surface water with many people facing water shortages
Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Astana.
Violence against children in Kazakhstan is widespread with over 75% of adults supporting the use of corporal punishment in families.
Children experience various forms of violence in the home, in residential institutions, at school and on the streets. While 18% of children in schools experience physical violence from parents/adults, children in institutions are more than twice as likely to experience such violence.
The impact of violence on children can be profound, leaving then with a range of both physical and emotional harm and with significant consequences on their future.
Child malnutrition, as well as unhealthy diets and obesity, are pressing health issues in Kazakhstan.
Almost 20% of children are overweight, mostly as a result of unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity. They consume excessive amounts of salt and with only one in three eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
Failure to follow a healthy diet, especially extremely high levels of salt intake, risks damaging a child’s health now and, in the future, including a greater risk of illness and disease that limits their quality of life.