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 Paraguay).

Paraguay is a landlocked country located between Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Latin America with 7 million inhabitants, 3 million of whom live near the capital Asunción. The country's history is marked by poverty and oppression. From the grasslands and forested hills east of the Río Paraguay to the lowlands near the river, Paraguay is home to a predominantly mestizo population with a mix of Spanish and indigenous American ancestry. In addition to the official Spanish language, about 80% of Paraguayans speak Guarani.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Paraguay since 1973.

Children are at risk

Paraguay falls below the Latin American average in several socio-economic categories, including immunization rates, safe drinking water, sanitation, and secondary school enrolment. It also has greater rates of income inequality, and child and maternal mortality. Despite a decline in poverty rates in recent years, many children and young people continue to live in poverty. This is especially true in rural areas, with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. Here, many families still lack sanitation, clean water, electricity and decent housing, affecting the lives of thousands of children.
Under-five mortality rate

Lack of health care

The under-five mortality rate is a key marker for children’s rights to health care services, nutrition, water, social security and protection. In Paraguay, the under-five mortality rate has seen a steep decline in the past decades – it stood at 29 per thousand in 2007, and 19 per thousand in 2020. But, and this is an indicator of the conditions Paraguayan children continue to face, it remains higher than the average rate in the Latin America & Caribbean region.

Of children are not registered at birth

Registration at birth

The births of 29% of children under 5 years old are never registered in Paraguay. This means they are denied that first step towards the protection of their individual rights. A birth certificate is a legal proof of identity that can help protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation. Without it, children are unable to prove their age, which puts them at a much higher risk of being forced into early marriage or the labour market, or recruited into armed forces. They are left uncounted and invisible.

Of the population lacks clean drinking water

Lack of access to water

Paraguay has achieved progress in terms of access to drinking water – but 36% of the population still uses basic drinking water services. That means that they can only drink from piped water, boreholes or tube wells, protected dug wells or springs, or bottled water. When water is not available on premises and has to be collected, women and girls are almost two and a half times more likely than men and boys to be the main water carriers for their families.

Together we can make a difference for children in Paraguay

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn in our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Two sisters on their way to school. SOS Children’s Villages cooperates with education authorities, schools and community organizations. Together they ensure free and equitable access to quality education that equips children with values and skills (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Paraguay).

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