SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Greece)

Greece is a country located in southeastern Europe, consisting of the mainland and approximatively 1,200 islands. Around ten million people live in this country, which is considered the birthplace of western civilization. Athens is the largest city and capital, followed by Thessaloniki and Patras. Greece is part of the European Union, and aims for a sustainable economical and societal growth. The country, however, has been shaken by several crises in the past years. In addition, the refugee situation has presented Greece with major humanitarian challenges for several years.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Greece since 1975.

Children are at risk

There are around two million children in Greece. Although the country has been working hard to develop financially and socially, it was hit hard by several crises in recent years. This had many repercussions, and especially on the most vulnerable in society. Indeed, 36% of children in Greece are at risk of poverty. Many of these children are refugees, lacking basic needs and vulnerable for gender-based violence, sexual violence and child trafficking.
Of refugee children are not inlcuded in the school system


For many refugees coming from Asia and the Middle East, Greece is the first country they enter in Europe. There are an estimated 121,100 refugees in Greece, 44,500 of whom are children. In total, 4,000 children are unaccompanied. Not only do they lack basic needs such as shelter and food, but they are also more vulnerable to gender and sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking. Although the Greek government has made efforts to include refugee children in the school system, 60% of refugee children of school age are still lacking access to education.

Victims of trafficking in Greece annually

Children are exploited

Child trafficking is a huge problem in Greece. The country is both a final destination and transit country for child trafficking from Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries. This could be due to Greece's geographical location, which is an entry point into the European Union. Or it could be due to the ineffective prevention and prosecution measures of the Greek judicial system. Criminal organisations traffick an estimated 40,000 victims annually for forced labour and sex trafficking..

Children are at risk of poverty


Greece has gone through several crises in recent years that have brought many families to the brink of poverty. In fact, 30% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Among young people, 568,000 children are affected. The high level of poverty could be linked to the unemployment prevailing in Greece. The country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union, at around 13%. Among 15-29 year olds, it is as high as 29.8%. Poverty and unemployment are mutually dependent, a vicious circle from which it is difficult to escape.

Together we can make a difference for children in Greece

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Emergency services
Were possible
As a child, you need someone who stands by you and believes in you, no matter what. SOS Children’s Villages is here for those children who are growing up without the care and support they need. With strong and healthy relationships, each child and young person can grow up with the trust and sense of belonging that is essential for them to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Greece).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives