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

With 937,700 inhabitants, Kingston is the capital and largest city and main port of Jamaica on the southeastern coast of the island. It’s the financial, cultural, economic and industrial centre of Jamaica. However, around 20% of Kingston’s population lives in informal settlements. The city has the highest murder rates in Jamaica. Lack of employment opportunities, gang violence and illegal drug trade are contributing to Kingston’s high crime rates. Children and young people need protection so that they can stay safe and complete their education and training.

Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kingston.

Of children witness violence at home and community

Children exposed to violence

Around 79% of children in Jamaica witness violence at home and in their communities. Kingston is particularly dangerous: most child murders occurred in Kingston and St Andrew which is nearby. Jamaican children are exposed to violence in settings where they should feel the safest. Violence at home, school or in the local community is a part of everyday life for many. In some cases, the police are responsible for brutality, harassment and psychological violence against children or families. Many children who have witnessed violence suffer from trauma and need special support.

Of 13 and 14 year old girls were raped in Kingston

Girls at risk due to sexual violence

Kingston is one of three regions with highest rates of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica. Adolescent girls are three times more likely than boys of the same age to become infected. Sexual violence is a cause and a consequence of HIV/AIDS. Young children and adolescents who are forced to have unprotected sex are at risk of contracting the disease. When children experience sexual abuse, they are at high risk of repeated and multiple abusive experiences in adult life. And so their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS also increases. Children and young people are in need of protection so that are not victims of violence.

Your support makes a difference for children in Kingston

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
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children enjoy spending time outdoors and looking after nature (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Jamaica).

How your support helps in Kingston

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.