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

Maracay is the capital of the state of Aragua in north-central Venezuela, close to the Caribbean cost. The population of the city stands at 1.2 million. Maracay’s economy is fueled by the production of paper, perfumes, and cement, as well as through agricultural produce like sugarcane and coffee. There has been a steady development of the city. However, Venezuela's deep social and economic crisis of the past years has also affected families in Maracay.

Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Maracay.

Of people living in poverty

Children living in poverty

Around 51% of people are living in poverty across Venezuela. In Maracay itself, thousands of children do not have a home. From global oil exports of natural reserves, Venezuela was once the richest country in Latin America. However, the situation changed and left Venezuelans out of money, grappling for necessities like food, and safe drinking water. In Maracay, in desperation to feed their families, many parents moved abroad. Many travelled to Colombia in hope of employment opportunities, while leaving their children behind with relatives. However, in many cases these relatives themselves could also not care for the children.

Of children suffer from malnutrition


It is difficult to give exact figures, but it is estimated that between 60-70% of children suffer from malnutrition. Severe food shortages around the city, worsened by hyperinflation has led to extreme hunger conditions for children, especially those living in poverty, across Maracay. Children resort to scavenging through garbage cans in search of scraps, leaving them with poorer health conditions from consuming unhygienic food. UNICEF estimates that the number of Venezuelan children in need of aid has grown to nearly 3.8 million.

Your support makes a difference for children in Maracay

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Can attend our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children often do their homework in the living room. And often together, that way they can help each other out (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Venezuela).

How your support helps in Maracay

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 trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
In areas SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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.