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

Cuzco is located in the Peruvian Andes and was once capital city of the Inca Empire. It’s a major tourist destination welcoming 2 million visitors a year because of its vast archaeological remains. Around 1.3 million people live in Cuzco. The Andes region is a low-income region in Peru, and around 22% of people live in poverty in Cuzco. In more rural areas, agriculture is the main source of livelihood but, with the harsh climate, families struggle to produce enough food for themselves.

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

Of people in Cuzco are living in poverty

Children living in poverty

Around 22% of the population in Cuzco is living in poverty. Many of these families have moved here in search of a better life. As they struggle to make ends meet, children are often forced to drop out of school. They need to contribute to the family income by working. Life in poverty also means that children have less access to other basic services such as healthcare. In many cases, children cannot visit the doctor to prevent illnesses or to get care when they become ill. The high malnourishment rate also means children are more likely to fall sick.

Peruvian children lost parental care due to COVID-19

Children without parental care

Over 92,000 children lost the care of both parents due to Covid-19. The loss of parental care in the middle of a global pandemic has affected the children’s mental and physical health and damaged their economic future. Although some of these children were cared for by relatives and family, some were left to look after themselves. This made them very vulnerable to exploitation which included illegal child labour in different sectors. These children and young people need special support so that they can live in a safe environment.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cuzco

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
After school, children and young people can do their homework at home. They often enjoy doing it together and can help each other out (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Peru).

How your support helps in Cuzco

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.