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

Bucharest is the capital and largest city in Romania. Situated in the south-east, it is also the cultural, industrial, and financial centre of the country. The population of Bucharest has been growing as people move to urban centres in search of work. Currently, Bucharest is currently home to around 1.8 million people. More than 1% of the city’s population are Roma, who are badly affected by poverty.

Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bucharest.

Children are working


Although the employment of children under the age of 15 is prohibited, an estimated 1% of Romania’s children are involved in child labour, equating to around 40,000. However, the actual numbers could be much higher. Child labour deprives children of their childhood. It deprives them of their rights, and exposes them to violence, physical and mental harm.

2 in 3
Children lack space at home

Inadequate housing

More than 65 % of the children live in overcrowded houses. Among children at risk of poverty, the proportion is as high as almost 80%. Most of these houses leak, are damp or do not have a flush toilet. The crowded conditions affect family relationships, negatively impact children's education and contribute to psychological problems. If children do not have enough space and privacy to develop, they will not escape the vicious cycle of poverty.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bucharest

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
SOS Children's Villages makes sure that children go to school. And that they stay in education or training until they can become independent (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Romania).

How your support helps in Bucharest

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.