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

Located in central Bolivia, in a valley of the Andes mountains, Cochabamba is the capital of the Cochabamba department and home to 631,000 inhabitants and 1.4 million people live in the metropolitan area. Known as the granary of Bolivia, the region has always seen a lot of agricultural activity. Its economy has diversified over recent years though, making Cochabamba a major industrial area. But, unfortunately, this does not mean that poverty has disappeared – the gap between rich and poor is acutely visible in and around Cochabamba. Children, young people and families need support so that they can improve their lives and stay together.

Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cochabamba-Jordán.

Of children in Cochabamba are malnourished

Children are malnourished

Anemia, malnutrition, obesity – child malnutrition continues to be a problem in all of Bolivia. Although Cochabamba is an agricultural area, 22 out of 100 children younger than five years old suffer from chronic malnutrition. Of these 6 are acutely underweight, and 17 are overweight. In fact, 66 per cent of chronically malnourished children are overweight or obese. This combination is known as the double burden of childhood malnutrition that is widespread in the Andean region. It is essential to provide children and adolescents with access to nutritious food so they can grow healthy.

Of the population lacks safe water sources

Water sources are not safe

Safe drinking water and sanitation are crucial to human health and well-being. But only 70 per cent of Cochabamba’s population has access to an improved water source, leaving 30 per cent to use unprotected wells or springs, or carts with tanks or drums. If the local families cannot use those or buy bottled water, they might have to drink water coming directly from the rivers, lakes, or irrigation channels in their area. Children who drink unsafe water are often affected by illnesses such as diarrhea, and those ground and surface waters used to drink, irrigate and bath get contaminated. Safe water is essential to children’s health.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cochabamba

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
Brothers and sisters playing in the garden and having fun. Growing up together, children in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bolivia).

How your support helps in Cochabamba-Jordán

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.