Saloniki Plagiari

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

Plagiari is a small town in Greece, about 20 kilometres from Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in the country after the capital Athens and an important tourist hotspot. About one million people live in the metropolitan area, including 46,000 children. Many families in Plagiari struggle with unemployment and are threatened by poverty. In addition, the public health system has practically collapsed due to the financial crisis in 2008. Thus, families cannot afford basic care or preventive measures such as vaccinations for the children.

Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Saloniki Plagiari.

Of children are at risk of poverty

Risk of poverty

In recent years, Greece has gone through some economic difficulties that have also affected the people of Plagiari: Many parents today simply cannot afford to provide for their children. Since Greece's credit rating was downgraded in 2009, increasingly harsh austerity measures have been taken, including wage cuts, fuel price increases and tax hikes. The increasing and continuing uncertainty of the Greek economy has also led to a decline in employment opportunities and industrial production. In Plagiari, 20% of children are therefore at risk of falling into poverty as well.

Of people are employed

Unemployment and uncertainty

The increasing and persistent uncertainty of the Greek economy has led to a decline in employment opportunities and industrial production, resulting in a very high unemployment rate. In the province of Central Macedonia, where Plagiari is located, only 58% of people are employed. This has a particularly strong impact on children, as many parents cannot afford enough food or medical care for their children.

Your support makes a difference for children in Saloniki Plagiari

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Siblings playing together. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Greece).

How your support helps in Saloniki Plagiari

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.