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

The capital of Colombia, Bogotá is home to 8 million inhabitants – 13 million in the wider metropolitan area. Although security levels and infrastructures have improved here over the last decade, many local families are still affected by unemployment, poverty and a lack of access to public services. Social inequality continues to increase in urban areas, and the COVID-19 pandemic was a set-back to many of the recent social gains.

Since 1971, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bogotá.

Of children are forced to work in Colombia

Children treated unequally

Around 7% of the Colombian population live in extreme poverty, which means that they cannot cover their minimum basic food needs. And 7% of children aged 5 to 17 have to work and are involved in labour activities to contribute to their family’s income. Most children work in the informal sector, and often drop out of school. In fact, only 3% of these children can combine work and school.

Of buildings are at risk of being destroyed by earthquakes

Natural hazards

Every day, families and children are exposed to natural hazards in Bogotá. Due to its geological and meteorological conditions and urban development, the city is exposed to landslides, floods, and earthquakes. Air pollution is particularly severe in the capital because of vehicle emissions. But earthquakes are the most acute threat – Bogotá is located in a complex seismic zone, and the vulnerability of the existing buildings endangers the entire city’s network. An earthquake originating in the country’s Eastern mountain range could destroy 10% of the city's buildings and cause 3,500 to 4,500 deaths.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bogotá

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
María's favourite subject at school is English. She learns new vocabulary every day with the vocabulary book she created herself (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Colombia).

How your support helps in Bogotá

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. Some children live in foster families. The children live in homes in different areas in the city, alongside local families. 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.