SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Venezuela).

Venezuela has a population of 28 million. It is also home to 20% of the world’s natural oil reserves. However, when global oil prices crashed in 2014, the Venezuelan economy suffered, and financial reserves depleted. Since then, more than 6 million Venezuelans have left the country to escape the socio-economic crisis where there is a serious lack of essentials like drinkable water, food, and medicine. Families who did not leave need extra support so that children and young people can grow up healthily.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Venezuela since 1978.

Children are at risk

Due to the harsh social and economic situation, many young adults have moved abroad to make a living. Some parents have moved on their own, leaving the children in care of relatives. But sometimes these relatives are themselves not able to support them. Furthermore, the unsanitary conditions in which many young children reside has led to a sharp increase in infectious diseases. Without medical aid, the number of deaths among children has increased. According to UNICEF, 3.8 million Venezuelan children are in need of assistance.
Of Venezuelans are living in poverty

Widespread poverty

When the Venezuelan economy suffered from plummeting global oil exports in 2014, social service initiatives to solve poverty ground to a halt. Soaring inflation rates made access to necessities impossible. A black market grew, and families resorted to barter trade to exchange possessions for food and water to survive. The COVID-19 pandemic also had a devastating effect for many families. Although the situation is slowly improving, 51% of Venezuelans are living in poverty.

Of children are at risk of acute malnutrition


Around 20% of children in Venezuela are at risk of acute malnutrition. This lack of healthy food is affecting young children most: 33% of children under the age of 2 are not meeting their growth milestones. If children do not get enough to eat, both their mental and physical development is affected. This may have long-lasting effects. In addition, children who are malnourished often find it hard to concentrate at school, and so their education suffers too.

Homicides for every 100,000 people in Venezuela


Venezuela has one of the world’s highest rates of crime with violent crime, the drug trade and corruption at the fore. Born out of desperate circumstance with no access to food and medical aid, people resort to theft too as a means for survival. Drug cartels hire children to guard drug-ring territories. They lure them with basic goods like water and food. Many are also engaged as “errand personnel” to facilitate an exchange of substances. Such easy access to drugs has also fueled drug abuse among the young.

Together we can make a difference for children in Venezuela

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Attend our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
We support young people until they can become independent. The support can include education, training, and psychological support. And we also try to show them how to look after themselves at home - and cooking is an important skill (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Venezuela).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives