Mogilev is an industrial city in eastern Belarus, only 76 kilometres from the Russian border. It is the third largest city in the country, and home to over 380,000 people.
Life in Mogilev can be challenging for children and young people. The surrounding area of the city is heavily industrial and offers little place for children to live a carefree childhood. Families here struggle to stay together, with the Mogilev region having the highest proportion of children without parental care across Belarus.
Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Mogilev.
The Mogilev region has one of the highest levels of poverty in the country. Social and economic changes have left families struggling with the rising prices of food and other basic goods, which has resulted in more children living in vulnerable conditions.
Almost 27,000 children across Belarus are recognized as being in social danger of losing parental care, with financial strain being one of the main reasons for this.
Without additional support, families may not be able to stay together and children are at risk of being separated from their families.
In Belarus, every fourth woman has been physically abused by a partner, and every second woman has experienced psychological abuse. Most of these women have children.
As there is little social support, it can be difficult for women in abusive relationships to leave, especially those with children.
Children who live in violent homes witness and experience this abuse directly. And because domestic violence is widely accepted in some parts of Belarus, these children can grow up believing that violence in the home is a normal part of life.