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

With two million inhabitants, Cali is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department in the south of the country. The third most populated city in Colombia has seen economic progress over the years, and a number of multinational companies have made it their base. Despite these gains, many families still live in poverty. Because of the armed conflict, many used to live in rural areas in southwestern Colombia but were forced to leave their homes and move to the city. They now have to make a new life in an urban environment.

Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cali.

Of the population lives in slums

Inadequate housing

The rapid urbanization process in Colombia, and internal displacement resulting from the long civil war, have led to a shortage of urban services. This means that housing, water, sanitation, and quality public transportation are not available in sufficient quantities. This can also lead to high unemployment, underemployment, insecurity and violence in the cities. The slums around Cali are a case in point. Children and young people living in these conditions, often don’t go to school and parents are unable to provide for their most basic needs.

Of children are stunted


Across Colombia, 7% of the population lives in extreme poverty and cannot meet their minimum basic food needs. As a result, 4 million people are undernourished - and 12% of children are stunted, which means they are not as tall as they should be for their age. Stunting is the result of inadequate nutrition. For children to reach their full physical and cognitive potential, access to adequate health care and nutrition is essential.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cali

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
Doing homework together. SOS Children’s Villages cooperates with education authorities, schools and community organizations. Together they ensure free and equitable access to quality education that equips children with values and skills (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Colombia).

How your support helps in Cali

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 different neighbourhoods 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.