The town of Siedlce is located in the Masovian Province about 90 km east of the country’s capital of Warsaw. While Siedlce is home to over 77,000 people, Warsaw has a growing population of 1.8 million inhabitants.
The region around Warsaw has benefited from the capital city's economic growth. However, although the capital has one of the lowest rates of poverty in the country, social inequality is rising.
Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Siedlce.
Around 2.5% of the population are living in hunger. Children are disproportionately affected by hunger, and as a result, every fifth child is undernourished.
More than 23,000 children in Warsaw suffer from starvation. Child hunger has multiple knock-on effects, from an inability to concentrate in school and poor cognitive function, malnutrition and poor growth, and low levels of well-being and a vulnerability to stress.
Around 15% of the population lives in poor housing, where they either have no place of their own to live or live in substandard conditions.
Around 9% of the population lacks managed sanitation for their household, and approximately 8% of people live in homes without bathrooms, with leaking roofs and insufficient light.
Poor quality housing can affect a child’s physical and mental health, leaving them without an appropriate place to do homework, or unable to find comfortable space for themselves.