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

Santiago is the capital of, and the largest city in, Chile. It is the centre of Chile's most densely populated region, the Santiago Metropolitan Region. The current population of Santiago is more than 6.8 million, which is 35% of the entire country's population. While Santiago has modernized greatly in the past couple of decades and has seen vast socio-economic growth, poverty and income inequality both remain significantly high.

Since 1967, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Santiago-Madreselvas.

Of children do not go to primary school

Children should stay in school longer

Around 23% of young children who should be in school, do not actually go to school. Many of these children who are not enrolled in school come from poverty-stricken households and neighbourhoods. Children between the ages of 5 and 17 are often forced to drop out of school to contribute to the family earnings. Several surveys have revealed a close relationship between educational levels and wage inequality. Without a basic education, employment opportunities remain scarce.

Of the population lives in poverty in Santiago

Families living in poverty

While 9% of the population in Santiago lives in poverty, throughout Chile there is an unequal distribution of wealth. Poverty eradication measures have been mostly successful around the region. However, policies to address income inequality have been overlooked. A recent study showed that the income of the richest in Chile was 13.6 times greater than those of the poorest. Some Chilean workers in the metropolitan areas earn $550 a month or less. Inflation and increasing costs of a partially privatized education system has made access to basic needs challenging.

Your support makes a difference for children in Santiago-Madreselvas

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.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Daily life involves hair brushing and learning – all at the same time! (photo: SOS Children’s Village Chile).

How your support helps in Santiago-Madreselvas

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. In Chile, children are cared for according to their age and gender. In SOS Children’s Village Santiago-Madreselvas, there are some homes where boys and girls can live together in the village up to the age of 18, and there are also some homes in the community where only boys, aged 12-18, live. The boys and young men living in different neighbourhoods in the city are well supported and attend school or further training. 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.