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

Meulaboh is a city in the province of Aceh, on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Around 70,000 people live in this city, which was one of the hardest hit during the 2004 tsunami.Indeed, an estimated 10,000 were killed by the natural disaster in Aceh. While the city has been rebuilt, people still suffer from prevalent poverty in the region.Children are especially vulnerable to these difficult living conditions, while girls also suffer from the common practice of female genital mutilation in Indonesia.

Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Meulaboh.

Of girls live below the poverty line

Children suffer from poverty

Although Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, inequality grows between rural and urban populations, and between the different islands, divided in provinces. One can notice this in Aceh, where Meulaboh is located. In fact, 15% of people there live below the poverty line. This can be partly linked to the 2004 tsunami, which killed 170,000 Indonesians and left 150,000 children without parental care in Aceh. These children are most at risk of being trafficked, sexually exploited or forced into labour. Although the city has been rebuilt and infrastructure restored, people are still struggling with the economic consequences of the natural disaster.

Of girls have undergone female genital mutilation

Girls are victim of mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM), is, according to the World Health Organization, “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” This practice is still prevalent in Indonesia, and 49% of girls aged 0 to 14 years old have undergone FGM. In Aceh specifically, where Meulaboh is located, between 51% and 80% of girls have undergone the procedure. FGM can lead to immediate health risks, as well as a variety of long-term complications affecting women’s physical, mental and sexual health and well-being throughout the life-course.

Your support makes a difference for children in Meulaboh

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children playing together. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia).

How your support helps in Meulaboh

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
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.