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

Tirana is the capital of Albania, located in the centre of the country and surrounded by mountains and hills. As the largest city in the country, it is home to almost one third of the country’s children. Almost 900,000 people live in the city, with many coming here in search of work In comparison to the rural and isolated areas of Albania, families and children have many opportunities in Tirana. However, life in the city can be challenging for many: affordable housing can be hard to find and social support is almost non-existent. Families in difficulty are often left to struggle on their own.

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

1 in 4
Children in Albania have been neglected

Poor social assistance

Social services in Albania are severely underfunded. Only 1% of government spending goes to social assistance, and most of this is spent on cash transfers rather than targeted services for the vulnerable population. The little support that is available is difficult for families to access, and parents are left to struggle with balancing childcare and supporting their family financially. Without extra support, these children may not receive the care they need, with 26% of children in Albania already victims of neglect.

1 in 3
Children have seen domestic violence

Violence at home

1 in 3 children have seen their mother being treated violently. Domestic violence continues to be a problem in Albania, and children are often the indirect victims: 31% of children have witnessed their mother being treated violently. Violent methods of discipline for children are also accepted: one third of parents believe children should be hit for their mistakes. These children are often traumatized by what they are exposed to, and grow up living in fear. This can have serious effects on their emotional and psychological development as they grow older.

Your support makes a difference for children in Tirana

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
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Finding a book to read. Children go to school, and they can then do their homework in after-school classes, alongside other students (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Albania).

How your support helps in Tirana

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.