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

León is a city in western Nicaragua with a population of 212,504. It’s the capital and largest city of León Department. The majority of families are dependent on agriculture and changes in climate are ruining their crops. In these situations, one family member is obliged to find a job in a city, away from agriculture. Because of poor water quality and dust people suffer from respiratory and skin problems, malnutrition and infectious sickness.

Since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in León.

Of children became infected with rotavirus

Diarrhea causes infant mortality

Around 90% of children are affected by diarrhea. Studies show that the peak of diarrhea transmission is during the dry season. The climate in the department of León is tropical with a dry season between December and April. Infants are the most vulnerable group of children to contract rotavirus diarrhea. Those living in households without running water are at even greater risk. In addition, inadequate hygiene practices are risk factors. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.

Of people live below the poverty line


More than 50% of people live below the poverty line. Families live in small houses made from brick with zinc, some have wells. On average, eight family members live a one household with only one income. Young children and adults living in poverty put their health at risk by collecting items from landfills with their bare hands and without any protection. The main work is to select and collect items that can be sold for recycling - plastic, metal, glass, paper and cardboard. They earn less than $1.50 per day.

Your support makes a difference for children in León

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
SOS Children’s Villages works to protect the rights and privacy of children. As you may notice, we do not show any identifiable photos of children in our care in León. This is because we have limited permission from the children and/or their legal guardians (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua).

How your support helps in León

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.