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

A town in south-eastern Poland, Bilgoraj is home to around 27,000 inhabitants. The town is located in the Lublin province, around 90 km south from the city of Lublin. Eastern regions in Poland have not profited as much as other parts of the country and salaries remain lower in comparison. As a result, the region continues to have one of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in the country.

Since 1983, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bilgoraj.

Children live in poverty


Relative poverty affects 12% of the population, which amounts to 4.5 million people. This means that households are only just able to afford the basic essentials of food and housing, but nothing more. As a result, more than 900,000 children are socially and materially deprived, in households that have no buffer in case of a financial shock. Children in these families live precariously on the margins of society, where many of their basic needs can no longer be met.

Children go to school hungry

Families are unable to provide food

Around 2.5% of the population are living in hunger. Nearly 120,000 children report going to school hungry, while more than 260,000 start their day without breakfast. In fact, more than 70,000 children only eat the meals provided at school as families are unable to provide basic food. Child hunger has multiple effects, from poor cognitive function to inability to concentrate in school, malnutrition and poor growth, and low levels of well-being with a greater vulnerability to stress.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bilgoraj

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
Grow up in our care
Children solving puzzles during an activity outside. Children who grow up our care develop bonds that often last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Poland).

How your support helps in Bilgoraj

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.