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 Bulgaria).

A small nation in south-east Europe, off the west coast of the Black Sea, Bulgaria is home to a declining population of around 6.9 million people. Approximately 76% of the population lives in urban centres while 24% lives in rural communities. Bulgaria has the lowest income per capita of all European Union (EU) member states and experiences the highest level of inequality in the region, which has widened in recent years. As a result, Bulgarian citizens are the least happy in the EU, with many people leaving the country in search of a better life.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Bulgaria since 1993.

Children are at risk

Around 17% of people, which is 1.2 million, living in Bulgaria are under the age of 18 years. With many parents leaving the country in search of work and a better life, a large number of children are left behind. And many of these do not receive enough support from their extended families. Along with other contributing factors, this has resulted in over 11, 000 children in Bulgaria living separated from their families
1 in 4
Young children do not attend kindergarten


Around 1 in 4 young children do not attend kindergarten. Early childhood education can be particularly beneficial for disadvantaged children, setting them up for success in the further stages of education, and improving social inclusion.. As they get older, more than 10,000 children drop out of primary education ever year. And 1 in 10 children do not attend compulsory education between the ages of 7 and 15. One of the main barriers to accessing education is poverty and parents being unable to pay the hidden costs of education.

2 in 5
Children do not get the food they need to grow healthily

Poor and malnourished

An inadequate diet is a type of material deprivation. At least 2 out of 5 children do not have access to daily protein-rich meals. In addition, up to 61% of children aged 6 months to 5 years, experience anemia and 21% are deficient in vitamin D. As a result, 7% of children under 5 years are stunted. Poor nutrition in children limits their ability to concentrate and perform well at school, impacting their prospects and making it harder for them to thrive as adults.

Reports of violence against children per year

Exposed to violence

With almost 70% of adults approving of “minimal force” corporal punishment, children in Bulgaria are at risk of physical and psychological violence, at home and in school. Around 20% of children have been punished by a slap to the face, 8% have been beaten, and 7% have been deprived of food. The impact of violence on children can be profound, leaving a range of both physical and emotional harm with significant consequences for their future.

Together we can make a difference for children in Bulgaria

Can stay together
Grow up in our care
Children and young people
Are supported on their way to independence
SOS Children’s Villages works to protect the rights and privacy of children. As you may notice, we do not show any identifiable photos of children in general information about Bulgaria. This is because we have limited permission from the children and/or their legal guardians (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria).

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