Vilnius is the capital and largest city of Lithuania, and home to just over 560,000 people. The city has a diverse population composed of around 67% Lithuanians, 15% Poles, 10% Russians, and 3% Belarusians.
Vilnius is the political, cultural, and economic centre of the country, and the relative prosperity of the region has attracted people from other areas to move here in search of better living conditions and opportunities.
Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Vilnius.
Poverty rates in Lithuania have remained among the highest in Europe.
More than 17% of households with children are at a high risk of poverty. Of these households, 26% of large families and 45% of single-parent households are at the highest risk of poverty.
Children in low-income families live precariously on the margins of society, facing social exclusion that worsen their prospect of a brighter future.
Lack of personal space: many Lithuanian children experience high levels of overcrowding.
Over 30% of children in high-income families and 43% in low-income families live in overcrowded homes. This increases to almost 50% in single-parent households.
Cramped living conditions harm family relationships, negatively affect children's education and contribute to mental health challenges. These environments prevent children from finding space for themselves and increase the risk of violence within families.