Kraśnik, a town in south-eastern Poland, about 50 km south of Lublin, is home to around 37,000 inhabitants.
Eastern parts of Poland have not experienced the same levels of growth as other parts of the county. As such, they continue to have lower salaries alongside higher rates of unemployment and poverty.
Since 1991, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kraśnik.
Around 15% of the population are at risk of poverty and social exclusion equating to around 5.7 million people.
As a result, over 900,000 children, 13%, are considered “poverty-endangered”.
Children are disproportionately vulnerable to, and affected by, poverty and material deprivation. They face long-term negative impacts on their physical and mental health; their social, emotional, and cognitive development; their behaviour; and their educational outcomes.
More than 30% of the population lives in overcrowded homes, with 15% living in poor quality properties.
However, children are disproportionately affected, meaning that around half, 51%, of all children live in homes where they do not have sufficient space for themselves.
Cramped living conditions harm family relationships, negatively affect children's education and contribute to mental health challenges. These environments also increase the risk of violence in families.