Lekenik, is a village and a municipality within Sisak-Moslavina county, in central Croatia. The village, which is home to around 1,900 people, is 24km from Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, which has approximately 700,000 inhabitants.
Sisak-Moslavina is one of the least developed areas in Croatia. Many families struggle to make ends meet, and as many as 70% of people rely on social assistance.
Since 1993, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lekenik.
Poor, overcrowded and cold: Over a third of Croatia’s citizens live in overcrowded housing. This affects as many as 49% of children.
In addition, low-income families experience energy poverty, with at least 19% unable to provide adequate heating to keep their homes warm.
A cold home affect a child’s physical health, especially young children who are home more. In addition, children may also not have an appropriate place to do homework and face poor mental health outcomes.
Many of Croatia’s Roma live in Sisak-Moslavina and Zagreb. This community in marginalized and faces discrimination in Croatia. This affects their health, housing, education, employment, and risk of living in poverty.
More than 22% of children from the Roma community live in material deprivation, with younger children being more deprived.
Children born into poverty are more likely to experience a wide range of health problems, as well as face social exclusion.