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

A small town located about 250 kilometers east of Sofia, Trjavna is home to almost 11, 000 people. As such it is the administrative centre of the Trjavna Municipality in the Gabrovo Province, in north-central Bulgaria. In this area, there is a disparity between rural and urban areas. Families living in more rural areas do not have sufficient access to schools or healthcare. Although many tourists come to the area to enjoy its natural beauty, it can be hard for people to make a decent living.

Since 1993, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Trjavna.

1 in 2
Children living at risk of poverty

Children living in poverty

Bulgaria has one of the highest rates of poverty within the European Union. While more that 22% of households live below the poverty line, more than 43% of children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Poverty rates are highest for the Roma minority, exceeding 75%. Children are disproportionately affected and more vulnerable to the effects of poverty, facing long-term consequences in terms of educational outcomes, physical and intellectual development, psychological health, and well-being.

1 in 5
Young people are not employed or in education

Young people need support

Around 14% of young people are unemployed – this is more than double the national unemployment rate. Young people often do not have the skills that are needed in the labour market. In addition, rural communities face underdevelopment and a lack of opportunity. As a result, around 1 in 5 youth are not in employment, education, or training, with 63% them living in rural areas. Young people who are out of work and education experience decreased well-being and greater social isolation. They also lack opportunities to gain and improve their skills.

Your support makes a difference for children in Trjavna

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
Brothers and sisters playing in the garden and having fun. Growing up together, children in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria).

How your support helps in Trjavna

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 one of the foster families that are supported by SOS Children’s Villages. The foster families live in different neighbourhoods in the town, alongside other local families. 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.