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

Pakse, located in the southern province of Champasak, is the third most populated city in Laos. It has a population of 120,000 inhabitants. In 2002, the Lao-Nippon bridge opened, crossing the Mekong River between Pakse and Thailand, to foster tourism and economic growth. As the city of Pakse is so closely located to the Mekong River, which is one of longest rivers in the world, the city is vulnerable to floods. Slowly, Pakse is growing economically, however, the city is still marked by poverty and widespread violence against children.

Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Pakse.

Of children aged 11 to 14 go to school

Children are most affected by poverty

Around 9% of people living in the province of Champasak, where Pakse is located, are affected by poverty. There has been a decrease of poverty in the last five years. However, children are most affected by poverty. Indeed, children growing up in households with social and economic hardships, do not get the same education opportunities as other children. To illustrate, only 52% of children aged 11 to 14 go to school in Champasak. Children are also most affected by food scarcity, with 25% of children in the province suffering from stunting, which is a measurement of low height for age. This is because, over the years, children do not get the food they need to grow healthily.

Of children suffer from violence

Children are vulnerable to violence

More than a third of women (34%) and men (35%) experienced some form of violence during childhood. More specifically, 1 in 7 women and 1 in 6 men experienced at least one form of physical violence before the age of 18. Around 22% of girls and 36% of boys experienced their first incident of sexual abuse when they were 13 years old or younger. These are only a few of the heartbreaking numbers reported in Laos. One of the causes of this violence is sometimes attributed to the fact that 42% of adults in Laos believe that physical punishment is necessary to raise a child.

Your support makes a difference for children in Pakse

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.
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Young people drawing and painting in the garden (photoSOS Children’s Villages Laos).

How your support helps in Pakse

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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.