Cuzco is located in the Peruvian Andes and was once capital city of the Inca Empire. It’s a major tourist destination welcoming 2 million visitors a year because of its vast archaeological remains.
Around 1.3 million people live in Cuzco. The Andes region is a low-income region in Peru, and around 22% of people live in poverty in Cuzco. In more rural areas, agriculture is the main source of livelihood but, with the harsh climate, families struggle to produce enough food for themselves.
Since 1993, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cuzco.
Around 22% of the population in Cuzco is living in poverty.
Many of these families have moved here in search of a better life. As they struggle to make ends meet, children are often forced to drop out of school. They need to contribute to the family income by working.
Life in poverty also means that children have less access to other basic services such as healthcare. In many cases, children cannot visit the doctor to prevent illnesses or to get care when they become ill. The high malnourishment rate also means children are more likely to fall sick.
Over 92,000 children lost the care of both parents due to Covid-19. The loss of parental care in the middle of a global pandemic has affected the children’s mental and physical health and damaged their economic future.
Although some of these children were cared for by relatives and family, some were left to look after themselves. This made them very vulnerable to exploitation which included illegal child labour in different sectors.
These children and young people need special support so that they can live in a safe environment.