SOS Children’s Villages established a presence in Almaty soon after Kazakhstan became independent in 1991. The early stages of independence were marked by instability and many families found themselves in vulnerable positions.
SOS Children works closely with local authorities in Almaty to supplement existing initiatives and to ensure children have access to the support they need.
Many of Almaty’s families living in poverty
Almaty is Kazakhstan’s largest city with a population of close to 1.5 million and was the country’s capital until 1997. The city is a major commercial and cultural centre and its primary industry is finance.
While the standard of living in Almaty is improving, the unemployment rate is higher than the country’s average. A large majority of the city’s inhabitants are employed in the financial services or IT sectors which contrasts sharply with residents of the surrounding areas who make a living from agricultural labour. In recent decades, many people have chosen to move from rural areas to urban Almaty to look for employment. However, even those who do find work live in very difficult conditions and face hardship in their daily lives.
A high proportion of children living in Almaty are living in poverty, and those from migrant families or those with disabilities are even more vulnerable. They are more likely to be forced into child labour for survival and much less likely to attend school
How do we do in Almaty?
The Kazakh government has recognised the plight of its most vulnerable children and in recent years has taken measures to keep families together, and to support children who have lost their parents. SOS Children continues to work closely with local authorities, supplementing their efforts and providing ‘at-risk’ children with support they need.
A loving home
In SOS Children's Village in Almaty there are several SOS families that provide a stable and loving home to children who are no longer able to be cared for by their parents. These children have the opportunity to experience a happy childhood, growing up with an SOS Mother.
The SOS Nursery offers day-care for children from SOS families and families living nearby. Children from SOS families in Almaty attend local schools with children from families living in the area. This allows them to establish friendships in a safe and happy environment, and to make connections with their community from an early age.
When SOS children are ready to leave the family home, they are supported to live semi-independently in special houses as they complete their education or vocational training. Professional counsellors provide guidance as they make the transition to adulthood.
We care for children in Almaty who, without our support, would have no family or loving home. You can help them to flourish by sponsoring a child today.