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

The village of Ladimirevci, in Osijek-Baranja County, is in the historical Slavonia region of Croatia, in the eastern part of the country, and close to the border with Serbia. Ladimirevci is a small town with less than 2,000 inhabitants. Slavonia is one of the poorest regions in the European Union. Children and young people who grow up in this area need extra support so that they have the access they need to schools and health care.

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

2 in 3
Children who live in poverty, live in rural areas

Children are vulnerable

Due to uneven development across Croatia, small towns like Ladimirevci and other rural areas in the east and southeast are the most impoverished, with up to 34% of people living in poverty. In fact, a large share of children living in poverty (65%) are in rural communities, which often lack health and education services. Consequently, children born into rural poverty may face long-term consequences when they are adults, in terms of their educational attainment as well as their health and well-being.

2 in 3
Children in rural areas don’t go to kindergarten

Missing out on early education

In Croatia, rural areas like those where Ladimirevci is located, have inadequate resources to support children’s education. Due to insufficient places, only 1 in 12 rural children attend nursery (1 in 5 in cities) and 1 in 3 attend kindergarten (2 in 3 in cities). In addition, locally-defined enrolment criteria do not favour children at risk or from rural areas. For children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, missing early education can hinder their social and cognitive development, as well as their social inclusion.

Your support makes a difference for children in Ladimirevci

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
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children spending time together doing some drawing. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Croatia).

How your support helps in Ladimirevci

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.
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.