In September 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to a 15-year plan of action aimed at improving the lives of people, protecting the planet, and building prosperity. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, guarantee access to quality education and decent work, and tackle climate change.

The SDGs and SOS Children's Villages

Together with partners and states, we work to achieve the SDG targets with the greatest impact for children and young people without parental care or at risk of losing it.

Goal 1 – End poverty

Creating a world without poverty is one of the main goals of the SDGs. It is particularly relevant in our work, as poverty is one of the most common contributing factors to family breakdown: in under-resourced households where basic needs cannot be met, heightened levels of stress combined with a lack of adequate social protection increase the risk of family separation.

SOS Children’s Villages works to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion and to prevent families from breaking down. We offer a range of services – from counselling to parenting workshops to support in income generation – and focus on increasing the capacities of families and communities, always aiming to foster their own resilience.

When children can no longer be looked after by their family, we offer a range of quality care options, tailored to the needs of the individual. We support every child and young person in our programmes in their development, all the way through to their transition to independence.


Care for Children is Care for Development

Nationally and internationally, we advocate for children’s rights, including child-sensitive and inclusive social protection for all and adequate support for families at risk of breaking down.

Goal 4 – Ensure quality education for all

Every child and young person has a right to quality education, regardless of their background. Globally, some 258 million children of primary and secondary school age were out of school in 2018. Children and young people without parental care or in emergency situations often face additional challenges when trying to access educational opportunities.

Every child and young person receiving support from SOS Children’s Villages is helped to access education – from nursery school right up to vocational training or university. We work to provide child-centred education in inclusive learning environments and focus on the child as a resourceful individual with unique skills and capabilities.

Through partnerships and advocacy, we strengthen public education, and we empower communities and parents to develop educational programmes and support. During humanitarian emergencies, we offer safe places where children can learn and play.

Goal 8 - Promote decent work and economic growth

By the end of 2022, the global number of unemployed youth was expected to reach 73 million.

Entering the labour market can be a daunting prospect for all young people, regardless of their home or family situation. For those who have grown up in alternative care, for whom there are often no structures in place when they leave, or for those in families at risk of breaking down, who lack adequate support and guidance at home, the process can be even more challenging.

At SOS Children’s Villages, we work directly with young people to prepare them for independence, offering vocational and social skills training, internships and work experience, as well as help in accessing higher education. We also work with partners to set up employability initiatives – for example, YouthCan!, our global partnership for youth employability; and with governments to improve prospects for young people worldwide. As part of our family strengthening services, we offer vocational training to parents so that they can find decent work and give their children a brighter future.

Goal 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries

No one should suffer from discrimination or be denied equal access to opportunities on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability, culture or family background. Children and young people who lack familial guidance or other support structures run a higher risk of experiencing social exclusion, poverty and other forms of inequality. They are less likely to have their rights met in areas such as education, healthcare, citizenship and protection.

In our advocacy work, we champion children’s rights – with their active participation – and strive to improve national child and social protection systems, ensuring equal opportunities for all. We aim to help break the cycle of poverty and exclusion so that future generations can be active and equal participants in society.

Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

All children must be protected from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Yet about half the world’s children are subjected to corporal punishment – and that’s just in their own homes.

Not only is violence a major risk factor for children being removed from their family, but those who are separated from their family are at a higher risk of experiencing further violence – they are easy targets for abuse, neglect and exploitation.  

SOS Children's Villages works to safeguard and protect all children. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care in our programmes. Additionally, we raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and advocate for improved protection for all children. We strengthen families to help prevent violence against children, teaching parenting skills and positive discipline techniques. We train care professionals in how to uphold and implement children’s rights in their work and fulfil quality standards in caring for children and young people.

More about our work