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 Lithuania).

The Republic of Lithuania is the southernmost Baltic country with a population of over 2.8 million people. It is the largest Baltic state in both population and territory. Approximately 7% of the population are Polish, mostly living around the capital, Vilnius, and another 5% are Russian. In recent years, the opportunities and living standard have improved for many families. However, Lithuania is among the countries with the highest rates of both alcoholism and suicide.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Lithuania since 1995.

Children are at risk

Constituting 18% of the total population, Lithuania is home to around 500,000 children. There are over 6,500 children without parental care in alternative care, of which almost a quarter live in residential care (around 1,500 children). More than half of those children reside in institutional facilities. This type of care often lacks individual, child-focused support and leaves children lacking the relationships, bonds and skills they need to become self-reliant adults in the future.
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Children are at risk of poverty

Child poverty

Poverty rates in Lithuania have remained among the highest in Europe. More than 23% of the population are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This equates to 25% of almost 100,000, children between the ages of 6 and 19. Almost 8% of children live in extreme poverty. Children are disproportionately affected by poverty, facing long-term consequences in educational outcomes, physical and intellectual development, and psychological health and well-being.

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Children live in cold homes


Energy poverty and unfit housing: Lithuania has the second highest rate in the European Union of children suffering from inadequately warm homes. Energy poverty affects 26% of children. In addition, 19% of low-income families live in unfit homes with leaks, damp, and rot. Growing up in a cold home and poor conditions affects a child’s physical and mental health, often leaving them without an appropriate place to do homework.

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Children lack adequate nutrition


Most children in Lithuania lack quality nutrition. Only 34% of children eat fruit daily, and only 32% eat vegetables. Almost 10% of households can’t afford adequate protein sources, which increases to over 20% in low-income households. As a result, almost 15% of school children are underweight. Nutritional deficiencies impact children’s physical and mental development, affecting their health, well-being, and ability to concentrate in school.

Together we can make a difference for children in Lithuania

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Attend our kindergartens
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Working with young people involves many things – in this case it involves finding their passion. Skateboarding is not only a sport, but a big community. People from different backgrounds come to this skateboarding community to share their experiences. This gives young people a sense of belonging, and a place where they can form friendships which can last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Lithuania).

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 train 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