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

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. The city has a population of 950, 000 inhabitants. Located in the north west, the Mekong river separates the city from neighbouring Thailand. The First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, built in the 1990s, connected the two countries and fostered Lao’s economy. Although the country’s economy is growing, many obstacles prevail. Poverty still affects one quarter of the population. Children are suffering most from poverty; many do not get enough food and can only dream of going to school.

Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Vientiane.

Of children experience violence

Violence against children

More than a third of women (34%) and men (35%) experienced some form of violence during childhood. More specifically, every 1 in 7 women and 1 in 6 men experienced at least one form of physical violence before the age of 18. Around 22% of girls and 36% of boys experienced their first incident of sexual abuse when they were 13 years old or younger. These are only a few of the heartbreaking numbers reported in Laos. One of the causes of this violence is sometimes attributed to the fact that 42% of adults in Laos believe that physical punishment is necessary to raise a child.

Of children suffer from stunting in Vientiane

Children are at risk of malnutrition

Parents in Laos sometimes struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children in the many remote communities. And thus, although the situation has improved over the years, 33% of children still experience stunting (low height for age), which is a result of undernutrition. Around 9% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had enough nutritious food. Laos also has the highest infant mortality rate in Southeast Asia: approximate 40 out of 1,000 infants die before their first birthday.

Your support makes a difference for children in Vientiane

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
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children who grow up in our care often take part in different workshops (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Laos).

How your support helps in Vientiane

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.