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

Tacloban, which is on the island of Leyte, is one of the largest cities in the region: over 250,000 people live here. As well as being an important port, it is an administrative, economic and cultural centre. Before typhoon Haiyan hit the city in 2013, about 9% of the population lived in poverty. However, local experts believed the actual figure to be higher. The situation worsened after the typhoon greatly damaged the city. Even now, many families struggle to escape the cycle of poverty.

Since 1970, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tacloban.

Of the population lived below the poverty line in 2021

Urban poverty

In the Philippines, 24% of the population lives below the national poverty line. In order to escape poverty in rural areas, in the past decades many people moved to Tacloban in search of a better life. However, most ended up living in slum-like conditions, without proper sanitation and sewerage systems, electricity. There is a lack of access to healthcare and education. These families were among the hardest hit by the typhoon that devastated Tacloban City in 2013. The disaster left over 6,000 people dead and those who survived were in dire need, struggling to find shelter, food and medicines. Children living in urban slums need extra support as they grow older.

Unemployment among youth aged 15-30

Youth unemployment

While the overall unemployment rate in the Philippines is 2.5%, according to the latest Labor Force Survey data in 2021, the youth unemployment rate in the country was 13 %. The economy has been growing constantly, but job growth has not kept pace. For young people without a university degree, finding work is particularly difficult. Only 20% of high school graduates find work within the first year of graduation while 75% of college graduates do the same.

Your support makes a difference for children in Tacloban

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
The gift of having an older friend who looks out for you. Children in our care often form bonds that start through small gestures and last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Philippines).

How your support helps in Tacloban

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.