Children and mother from Jakarta, Indonesia

With a population of over 9 million people Jakarta is Indonesia's largest city. It is also the capital and is at the heart of country's social, political and economic life.

Being the heart of the country has meant rapid growth, as more and more people from other areas in Indonesia are drawn to the opportunities that Jakarta offers. The city is now greatly over populated, but the inflow of people shows no signs of stopping. 

Families live in precarious conditions

Whilst growth brings prosperity for the city as a whole, for individual migrants life in the capital is often very hard. Many migrants have a very low level of education and struggle to find work, meaning that hundreds of thousands struggle to survive. 

These families often live in very precarious conditions in slum housing. Not only do these areas lack safe drinking water, sanitation and electricity, but they are also at high risk of flooding. Slums are not healthy places for children to grow up in and this can severely hamper their life chances. 

Struggling to stay together

Poor parents work extremely hard doing anything they can to get by, but it is still difficult to make ends meet. Children in these families often suffer as result with high incidences of malnutrition and limited opportunity to go to school. 

This puts an enormous strain on families and children's emotional needs regularly go unfulfilled. In extreme cases families can break down altogether and this has led to an increasing number of children who live without parental care. 

How are we helping children in Jakarta?

SOS Children started working in Jakarta in 1984 in response to the wide range of social problems children in the city faced. The country has undergone many changes, but we have adapted and continue to work with local communities to achieve sustainable solutions. 

Child from Jakarta, IndonesiaSupport for vulnerable families

We launched our family strengthening programme in 2005 in order to support families who are at risk of abandoning their children. We work with local authorities to provide advice and support, including counselling and self help groups, to children and families throughout the city. 

We offer practical assistance as well, such as providing food and helping parents to develop income generating activities. Our SOS nursery also gives parents a safe place to leave their children whilst they go to work and earn money for the family. 

SOS family homes

Our SOS Children's Village in Jakarta provides a home for children who can no longer stay with their parents. These children are able to stay with their brothers and sisters and all attend local schools where they make friends with other children in the community. 

We also run a range of after school activities and a mobile library, which give all children access to fun and educational activities. 

Supporting teenagers to become adults

Our SOS youth programme supports children from SOS families as they take their first fully independent steps. Qualified professionals help them to shoulder responsibility and make clear plans for their futures. 

Due to the tough economic conditions in Jakarta we often encourage these young people to develop entrepreneurial skills that will allow them to take charge of their own lives.

Many children in Jakarta have been orphaned and abandoned. In an SOS Children's Village, they are given a family, love and hope. You can help these children by becoming a child sponsor.


With SOS Children, all sponsored children get education, food, medical care and a loving family from the charity.