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

With 14 million inhabitants, Manila is one of the world's most densely populated cities. The economy of this bustling city is diverse, and includes manufacturing as well as services related to the exportation of goods. Manila is a city with enormous contrasts - gated communities and glittering shopping malls stand in juxtaposition with the makeshift houses where many live.

Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Manila.

2.3 %
Of people live in poverty in Metro Manila

Urban Poverty

In order to escape poverty in rural areas, many people move to Manila in search of a better life. However, most end up living in slum-like conditions. The improvised shacks can be seen on pavements or on the edges of roads and railways. Others are located near rivers, where they run the risk of being washed away by flooding. In the majority of cases there is no clean water, sewerage systems or electricity. Access to other social services such as health care and education is also lacking. Although there is less poverty in Manila than in other areas of the Philippines, 2.3% of people live in poverty in the city.

Unemployment among youth aged 15-30

Youth unemployment

While the overall unemployment rate in the Philippines is 2.5%, the rate among young people between 15 and 30 years of age is significantly higher. According to the latest Labor Force Survey data in 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 13.4%. The economy has been growing constantly, but employment has not. For young people without a university degree, finding work is particularly difficult. Only 20% of high school graduates find work within the first year of graduation while 75% of college graduates do the same.

Your support makes a difference for children in Manila

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.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children having fun in the garden together. Children and young people in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Philippines).

How your support helps in Manila

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.