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

The city of Cebu in the Visayas region is one of the largest cities in the Philippines. Cebu city is a well-developed industrial centre and is home to around 1 million people. Its large commercial port plays a central role in domestic shipping. In recent years, the service sector has become increasingly important - IT businesses and call centres are opening up offices in the city and the tourism industry continues to expand and attract visitors to the beautiful historic and natural sites.

Since 1980, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cebu.

Of people in the Philippines live on less than $1.25 USD per day

Urban poverty

Despite strong economic growth in the Philippines, rates of poverty remain high. Nearly 23% of people live on less than $1.25 USD per day. In a need to escape grinding poverty in the rural areas, many move to Cebu City in search of a better life. However, most end up living in slum-like conditions, characterized by the lack of durable and permanent housing that protects against extreme weather conditions. There is a lack of clean water, sewerage systems or electricity and access to other social services such as healthcare is lacking. Children living in urban slums need extra support so that they can go to school and stay healthy.

Children die from malnutrition in the Philippines daily

Child poverty and malnutrition

The high levels of child malnutrition in the Philippines is mostly due to poverty, when children are not able to get the food they need to grow. Many children die in their first few years of life due to a lack of access to sanitation and clean water, low immunization coverage and reasons related to climate change. Every day, 95 children in the Philippines die from malnutrition and a third of children are small for their age. Food security becomes more critical when people move to the city. Without the option of growing food themselves, parents without a stable income struggle to get adequate and nutritious food.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cebu

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
Two children in our care who are having fun together. Children grow up with each other and often form bonds that will last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Philippines).

How your support helps in Cebu

Strengthening vulnerable 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.