SOS Children has been working to support vulnerable children in Astana since 2000. The city has undergone a period of significant change and rapid population growth since it became the Kazakhstan capital in 1998.
Over the past 14 years, SOS Children has continuously expanded its activities and programmes in the city and has received co-operation and support from local authorities.
Astana's growth has not benefited all the city’s residents
The city of Astana is located in central Kazakhstan, nearly 1,000 kilometres north of Almaty. It is home to around 800,000 residents and the population is predicted to continue its rapid increase in the coming years.
In 1998, Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan, and the government made a sizeable investment in the city, transforming it from an area that had traditionally processed agricultural goods, into a thriving political centre.
The construction of buildings to house official institutions attracted many workers to Astana from other parts of the country and from neighbouring countries. There have been reports of organised trafficking rings bringing people to Astana where they have taken on work in often dangerous conditions and have no rights or access to basic social services.
Although significant changes have taken place in the city centre, those living in neighbourhoods outside the central area are housed in un-renovated Soviet-style apartment blocks. The rising cost of living and high cost of often substandard housing coupled with low salaries, pensions and benefits have left many living in hardship. Children, but particularly those living in single-parent households, are the most vulnerable as their carers struggle to pay for education and basic healthcare.
Support for families and loving homes to children
The Municipality of Astana recognises social hardship that has made many families and children vulnerable during this great period of change in the city. The Municipality has embraced SOS Children’s work in the city and also donated the land that houses the Astana SOS Children’s Village.
SOS Children's Village Astana
At our Children's Village, SOS families provide a stable and loving home to children who are no longer able to live with their parents. Children have a loving childhood while being cared for by an affectionate SOS Mother.
The SOS Nursery has places for children from SOS families and local families. Professionally trained staff provide a peace of mind for parents who are able to go out to work knowing their children are well cared for. SOS children attend local schools with children from families living nearby.
When SOS children are ready to move out of the family home, they are supported as they continue their education or vocational training. Our young people move into semi-independent homes live under the guidance of qualified counsellors.
Our work in Astana ensures that children with no parents are able to grow up in a caring family home. Help them to flourish by sponsoring a child today.