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 Venezuela).

Venezuela has a population of 28 million. It is also home to 20% of the world’s natural oil reserves. However, when global oil prices crashed in 2014, the Venezuelan economy suffered, and financial reserves depleted. Since then, more than 6 million Venezuelans have left the country to escape the socio-economic crisis where there is a serious lack of essentials like drinkable water, food, and medicine. Families who did not leave need extra support so that children and young people can grow up healthily.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Venezuela since 1978.

Children are at risk

Due to the harsh social and economic situation, many young adults have moved abroad to make a living. Some parents have moved on their own, leaving the children in care of relatives. But sometimes these relatives are themselves not able to support them. Furthermore, the unsanitary conditions in which many young children reside has led to a sharp increase in infectious diseases. Without medical aid, the number of deaths among children has increased. According to UNICEF, 3.8 million Venezuelan children are in need of assistance.
Of Venezuelans are living in poverty

Widespread poverty

When the Venezuelan economy suffered from plummeting global oil exports in 2014, social service initiatives to solve poverty ground to a halt. Soaring inflation rates made access to necessities impossible. A black market grew, and families resorted to barter trade to exchange possessions for food and water to survive. The COVID-19 pandemic also had a devastating effect for many families. Although the situation is slowly improving, 51% of Venezuelans are living in poverty.

Of children are at risk of acute malnutrition


Around 20% of children in Venezuela are at risk of acute malnutrition. This lack of healthy food is affecting young children most: 33% of children under the age of 2 are not meeting their growth milestones. If children do not get enough to eat, both their mental and physical development is affected. This may have long-lasting effects. In addition, children who are malnourished often find it hard to concentrate at school, and so their education suffers too.

Homicides for every 100,000 people in Venezuela


Venezuela has one of the world’s highest rates of crime with violent crime, the drug trade and corruption at the fore. Born out of desperate circumstance with no access to food and medical aid, people resort to theft too as a means for survival. Drug cartels hire children to guard drug-ring territories. They lure them with basic goods like water and food. Many are also engaged as “errand personnel” to facilitate an exchange of substances. Such easy access to drugs has also fueled drug abuse among the young.

Together we can make a difference for children in Venezuela

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Attend our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
We support young people until they can become independent. The support can include education, training, and psychological support. And we also try to show them how to look after themselves at home - and cooking is an important skill (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Venezuela).

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