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

Northern Cyprus is home to roughly 382,000 people. The partition of the country also divides the capital of Nicosia, which has a total population around 200,000. The northern part of the capital is called Lefkosa in Turkish, and is home to approximately 61,000 inhabitants. Many children and young people have moved to Lefkosa with their families and they need extra support as they adjust to their new lives.

Since 1993, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lefkosa.

1 in 5
Children are at risk of poverty

Children facing deprivation

While 19% of children and teenagers in Cyprus are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, poverty in North (Turkish) Cyprus is somewhat higher than South (Greek) Cyprus. With different political and financial ties, income in the north is almost two fifths lower than the south. Children are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of poverty, facing long-term consequences in terms of educational, development and health.

6 -15
Year-olds have access to free education

Education is limited

Education policies are divided across Cyprus, with the northern administration only granting access to free education from 6 to 15 years. This means children are missing out on the benefits of early education, compared to the south. Early childhood education can be particularly beneficial for children living in poverty. Going go kindergarten sets them up for later stages of school, strongly contributing to their social and cognitive development, as well as their social inclusion.

Your support makes a difference for children in Lefkosa

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
Children and adults
Attend our kindergarten and trainings
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Siblings learning together. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Northern Cyprus).

How your support helps in Lefkosa

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.