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

Arequipa is the second largest and most populated city located in southern Peru framed by three volcanoes. The region is home to 1.2 million people. Arequipa is a crucial processing centre for alpaca, llama, and sheep wool. Many people also live off tourists who visit the region’s bathing resorts, hot springs, and Inca ruins. In the past years, and partly as a result of COVID-19, there has been an increase in the number of families who are living in poverty.

Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Arequipa.

Of children born in coca areas work in drug industry

Children at risk due to drugs

Some people in the Arequipa region are involved in the illegal growing, trafficking and selling of cocaine. Recent studies have shown that there is an increase in demand for cocaine, and that this is directly linked to the rise in local production. Consumption increases in areas where drugs are being produced. Around 90% of coca produced in Peru is used for illegal drug production using child labour. In these cases children are exploited, working from 4am to 4pm collecting coca leaves, unable to attend school.

1 in 3
Girls have been physically hurt by family

Abuse in families

Throughout Peru, many children experience violence and abuse. Violence comes in many forms and can be physical or mental. Children who live in poverty, especially in rural areas, have an increased chance of experiencing violence. On top of schoolwork rural children must complete domestic chores and those related to their family’s livelihood, for example tending crops and livestock. With age, their responsibilities increase and so does violence if they don’t complete their tasks.

Your support makes a difference for children in Arequipa

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
Could attend kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children playing after school. Children in our care spend a lot of time together and often form relationships that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Peru).

How your support helps in Arequipa

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 and training
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.