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 Romania).

Romania, at the intersection of central and south-eastern Europe, has a population of around 19 million people. Ethnic Hungarians account for nearly 9% of the country’s inhabitants. Although officially, roughly 3% of the population are Roma, studies estimate this group constitute almost 10% of the people living in Romania. Around 55% of inhabitants reside in urban centres, with the remaining 45% living in rural communities.

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

Children are at risk

Under 18s make up approximately 19% of the population, around 3.6 million children and young people. Promises of a better life, employment and improved income motivate many parents to move abroad. At least 75,000 children have at least one parent working abroad, with an estimated 22, 600 missing both parents. For almost 60% of these children, their parents have been away for 4-9 years.
1 in 3
Children are at risk of poverty

Facing deprivation

Almost a quarter of the population lives under the nationally established poverty line. However, children are disproportionately affected, with more than 36% at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and more than 21% living below the poverty line. Children who live in poverty face long-term consequences for their life as adults, in terms of educational outcomes, physical and intellectual development, as well as their psychological health and well-being.

1 in 5
Children miss out on preschool education

Increasing inequalities

More than 20% of children are not enrolled in pre-primary education. In addition, many public, early education settings only open for a limited number of hours, mostly only 4 hours a day, with those open for longer experiencing overcrowding. Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to participate in pre-primary education. For these children, early education can strongly contribute to their social and cognitive development, as well as their social inclusion.

1 in 11
Children go to bed hungry

Lack of food

More than 14% of families cannot afford adequately nutritious meals for their children. For larger families and single parent households, around 30% of children are not able to have a nutritious meal every second day. Undernourishment and malnutrition in children have multiple effects. They can include an inability to concentrate in school and poor cognitive function, as well as poor growth and development. They can also result in a weakened immune system, resulting in illness and disease.

Together we can make a difference for children in Romania

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
In Romania, we support young people as they grow older. And it is important to give them a sense of security and belonging. In this photo the children and young people are building and decorating a wooden house. They put friendship messages inside the house, and shared them with other children and young people in care (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Romania).

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