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

Matagalpa is the capital city of the Matagalpa Department. It’s located in west central Nicaragua and has a population of 111,258. The city is the leading commercial and manufacturing centre of the region. A considerable portion of Nicaragua’s coffee is produced in the surrounding region. Many children in Matagalpa have to fend for themselves on the streets, where they are exposed to the dangers of drugs and violence. Living on the streets means they have no access to health care or education.

Since 2001, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Matagalpa.

Of people live in poverty

Poverty puts children at risk

Around 30% of people in Nicaragua live in poverty. Many children have to fend for themselves on the streets. Some children as young as five are already living on the streets. Other children live at home but spend their days selling goods or services on the streets to support their families financially. Girls and boys are also forced into child labor or exploited as sex workers, which often leaves them exposed to exploitation, abuse and violence.

Of children aged 10-14 are engaged in child labour


Around 12% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 are forced to work. Nicaragua produces some of the best coffee in the world, most of it in the region around Matagalpa. However, the coffee industry is known to employ children illegally, making them work long hours in difficult and dangerous conditions. Children receive little or no pay. For some families, their children are their only source of income. Therefore, parents make the difficult decision not to send their children to school so that they can contribute to the family income.

Your support makes a difference for children in Matagalpa

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
Two sisters taking part in a drawing course. SOS Children's Villages supports families in providing an environment where their children can develop and flourish (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua).

How your support helps in Matagalpa

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.