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

Cholpon-Ata is a small town in the rural Issyk Kul region, in northern Kyrgyzstan. Most of the people live off agriculture, which is at risk due to worsening environmental challenges. Although there is a high number of children who are at risk of losing the care of their parents, there are not enough specialists who can provide the support they need in order to stay together. This often results in children being taken into institutional care, where they are at risk of poor treatment and education.

Since 2002, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cholpon-Ata.

1 in 4
Children live in rural poverty

Children living in poverty

In Kyrgyzstan, the risk of poverty is significantly greater in rural areas, like Cholpon-Ata. Despite being lower than the rural average, Issyk-Kul has a very high poverty rate, with 28% of the population living below the poverty line and 0.5% living in extreme poverty. Rural children are at greater risk of poverty due to poor access to education, employment opportunities and services. Given these remote locations, children in poor families live precariously on the margins of society, at risk of their basic needs not being met.

1 in 2
Children do not consume enough calories

Children are undernourished

Over 50% of children consume less than the recommended daily calories. As a sign of chronic poverty, 12% of children under 5 years of age in Kyrgyzstan are stunted. The highest rates of stunting are among rural children (more than 13%) and children in households with the lowest incomes (14%). Child malnutrition has multiple effects, from an inability to concentrate in school to poor cognitive function; and poor growth and development. It can also lead to a weakened immune system, resulting in illness and disease.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cholpon-Ata

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
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Doing some school work. SOS Children’s Villages supports children and young people in their schooling and training (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Kyrgyzstan).

How your support helps in Cholpon-Ata

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.