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 in Cambodia)

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in South-East Asia. It has boundaries with Thailand in the north-west and west, Laos in the north, Vietnam to the east and south-east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Around 17 million people live in Cambodia. The country is still recovering from a succession of conflicts, which had a devastating effect on the life of Cambodians. It is one of the most land mined countries in the world - since 1970, around 60,000 people have died due to explosions, and many more have been injured; the majority of these are children playing in the fields or herding animals.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Cambodia since 2000.

Children are at risk

Demographically speaking, Cambodia is a very young country. One third of its citizens are under 15 years of age. Tens of thousands of children live in orphanages and care institutions. Poverty, the years of conflict, migration and the rising number of people living with HIV/AIDS are the main reasons why children can no longer live with their families. Around 300,000 children are involved in child labour. Children work in agriculture, the fishing industry, in quarries, as domestic servants or on the streets
Of Cambodians live below the poverty line

Widespread poverty

Despite recent economic growth, about 18% of Cambodians continue to live below the nationally poverty line. Around 40% of the population works in agriculture. The main agricultural products include rice, rubber, and tapioca. Fishing is also important but yields are projected to decline 40-60% in the near future. Neither fishing and agriculture are not stable sources of income. Many people also live off tourism, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that many people were not able to travel. This is now changing slowly.

Cambodians live with HIV/AIDS


Recent improvements in health have reduced infant and under-five mortality rates in Cambodia. Likewise, there has been an increase in average life expectancy, though it remains relatively low at 67.5 years for men and 71.9 years for women. However, the high number of people living with HIV/AIDS poses a new challenge for Cambodia's fragile health system. Around 75,000 people are known to be living with HIV/AIDS. Children living in household affected by HIV/AIDS need extra support.

7 in 10
Pre-primary schools do not have access to sanitation

Access to sanitation

While the vast majority of people living in urban areas have access to clean drinking water, this is mostly lacking in rural areas. Only 28% of the population of Cambodia are using clean drinking water services. Seven in ten pre-primary schools do not have access to facilities that include safe water, toilets and ways of preventing the spread of disease. Children continue to die from diseases that could be preventable through the provision of clean water and the proper management of sewage.

Together we can make a difference for children in Cambodia

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
At SOS Children’s Villages we believe that, children and young people need stable relationships to thrive. Children and young people spend a lot of time in the kindergartens, schools and training centres that we run across the country. It is here that children can feel safe and form bonds that will help them through their lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Cambodia).

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