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 Vietnam).

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam borders China in the north, the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea in the east and south, and Laos and Cambodia in the west. Vietnam has over 97 million inhabitants. The biggest city is Ho Chi Minh City with 8.2 million inhabitants and Hanoi, the capital city, is home to around 5 million. About 85% of the population is ethnically Kinh, and the remaining 15% is comprised of 53 other recognized ethnic groups. Vietnam is recovering from decades of war. The constant struggles have influenced the families of Vietnam in various ways; many lives were lost; the environment damaged, and the agricultural-based economy seriously affected.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Vietnam since 1967.

Children are at risk

There are around 26 million children living in Vietnam. In the past two decades their lives have improved in many ways: most are now attending education and have access to health care. The under-five and infant mortality rates have fallen significantly over the past decades as well. Despite major improvements to their quality of life, there are widening inequalities driven by ethnicity and place of origin, gender, and disability.1 in 3 children of ethnic minorities in Vietnam suffer from stunting, meaning they do not grow properly, while 1 in 5 are underweight according to 2019 estimates
Of the population are living below the poverty line

Widespread poverty

In spite of improving conditions in recent decades that have propelled Vietnam to a middle-income country, poverty in Vietnam remains – an estimated 6.7% of the population is living below the nationally established poverty line. There is an increasing disparity in the distribution of wealth between urban and rural areas of the country and between different ethnic groups. Ethnic minority groups, especially those living in rural mountainous areas are up to 4 times more likely to live in poverty than the members of the majority living in urban centres.

Of the population lives in urban areas

Rural to urban migration

In recent years, the Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest growing in the region. There have been some changes, but state owned enterprises continue to account for about 40% of GDP. Agriculture is still the most important sector, employing nearly half of the population. At present, about 37% of the population lives in urban areas, but this rate is increasing rapidly as most jobs are located in cities. Rural-urban migration can be detrimental to rural development and tends to increase the socio-economic disparities experienced by vulnerable households.

Children are without parental care

Losing parental care

Children from ethnic minorities and those living in rural areas, or in the northern mountainous regions, are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to attend school. Children who are at risk of losing parental care include those whose parents have migrated in search of work. Their children are often left with grandparents or family members. There are around 170,000 children without parental care in Vietnam.

Together we can make a difference for children in Vietnam

Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools and take part in trainings
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
In many locations across Vietnam, SOS Children’s Villages supports local children and their families. When families come to us in search of support, we work closely with them to make sure they get the assistance or training they need so that they can stay together as a family (photo: J. Fuhr).

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 train 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