Marina Gorka

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

Marina Gorka is a small town in central Belarus, which is home to around 22,000 people. The town is approximately 63 kilometres south-east of Minsk, the modern capital of the country. Marina Gorka is part of the wider Minsk region, a rural area that is known for its farming and agricultural produce such as potatoes, flax and sugar beet. Children, young people and families in rural areas have less access to social assistance from the government. They need extra support so that they can stay together.

Since 2002, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Marina Gorka.

1 in 3
Of those living in poverty in Belarus are children


Although there have been improvements, high unemployment rates, low wages and insufficient social assistance mean that many families in Marina Gorka face hardship. Children are among the most vulnerable: Of all those who fall beneath the poverty line in Belarus, over one third are children. Financial strain is one of the main causes of family separation in Belarus, with many children in low-income families at risk of losing parental care. Alcohol dependency is another reason why children can’t stay with their family. The region around Marina Gorka has the highest number of people with alcohol dependencies across all of Belarus.

Of women have experienced economic abuse

Gender inequality

Life can be dangerous for mothers and children in Marina Gorka. The Minsk region, where the town of Marina Gorka is located, has one of the highest rates of reported domestic violence across Belarus. Many women with children are forced to stay in abusive relationships, as they simply cannot afford to leave. Women are often discriminated against in the labour market, especially young mothers. In addition, 16% of women in Belarus have experienced economic abuse from a partner, for example by restricting access to money or preventing them from working.

Your support makes a difference for children in Marina Gorka

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, young people and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Siblings doing crafts together. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Belarus).

How your support helps in Marina Gorka

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 right, and also training to find employment. In addition, we provide care to mothers, babies and children in crisis. This include supporting young mothers after they have had their babies.
Caring for children and young people 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 they can build strong and stable relationships. All the children in our care have access to healthcare and education. 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.