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

Lhasa is situated in the Himalayas at 3,490 meters and is therefore one of the highest cities in the world. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and although tourism is a crucial aspect of the city's economy, the number of visitors varies depending on the political situation. The region has undergone many changes and yet there is a pressing need to support children, young people and families so that they can stay together.

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

Illiteracy rate in Tibet

Low literacy

According to most human development indicators, as an autonomous region of China, Tibet continues to rank amongst the most deprived in the Chinese context. The illiteracy rate in Tibet is over 28%, which is much higher than the national average illiteracy rate of 3% in China. Families from rural areas move to Lhasa to seek better employment or education opportunities. They often have low Mandarin language skills, despite this being a requirement for many jobs in urban areas. As a result, they often find it hard to find stable employment.

Unemployment among youth aged 16-24 nationally

Increased cost of living and joblessness

Although there has been an increase in infrastructure in Lhasa, the city is struggling to accommodate the increasing number of people who are moving here. In spite of the housing development, that is transforming the historic Buddhist city with new roads and apartment buildings, the housing prices are so high that few people can afford them. The price of basic commodities and food has also increased. There is fierce competition for jobs and even well-educated young people are often unable to find a job. In all of China, youth unemployment is at an all-time high of 20% among those aged 16 to 24.

Your support makes a difference for children in Lhasa

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
In the afternoons and weekends children often do their school work together. Older children often help the younger ones out (photo: SOS Children’s Villages China).

How your support helps in Lhasa

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.