Northern Cyprus is home to roughly 382,000 people. The partition of the country also divides the capital of Nicosia, which has a total population around 200,000.
The northern part of the capital is called Lefkosa in Turkish, and is home to approximately 61,000 inhabitants.
Many children and young people have moved to Lefkosa with their families and they need extra support as they adjust to their new lives.
Since 1993, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lefkosa.
While 19% of children and teenagers in Cyprus are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, poverty in North (Turkish) Cyprus is somewhat higher than South (Greek) Cyprus.
With different political and financial ties, income in the north is almost two fifths lower than the south.
Children are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of poverty, facing long-term consequences in terms of educational, development and health.
Education policies are divided across Cyprus, with the northern administration only granting access to free education from 6 to 15 years.
This means children are missing out on the benefits of early education, compared to the south. Early childhood education can be particularly beneficial for children living in poverty. Going go kindergarten sets them up for later stages of school, strongly contributing to their social and cognitive development, as well as their social inclusion.