Group of children at Cebu, Philippines

Many tourists are attracted to Cebu's sites of historic and natural neauty. Cebu is one of the largest towns in the Philippines, and its commercial port makes it an important centre for domestic shipping and industry. As well as this, the service sector is expanding. 

Cebu's success attracts many people who are searching better opportunities, such as the rural poor. Sadly, most migrants end up joining the thousands who live in slum-like housing. Here they lack clean water, electricity, sewerage systems, and access to social services.  

Families living in slums

When a family lives in slum-like conditions, they are vulnerable to many threats. A lack of health care means that children and parents struggle to access the treatment they need. Those living in unofficial housing can be forced to leave at any time, and not offered alternative shelter. When parents go out to look for work, children are often left alone - if not working themselves. 

To contribute to the family's income, some children scavenge in the city's rubbish tips, others beg or sell small goods on the streets. Spending time on the streets is dangerous, as children are exposed to exploitation, violence and false promises of human traffickers. 

Protecting children's rights in Cebu for three decades

Child from the SOS Nursery School Cebu Philippines

For over three decades, we have been working to protect the rights of children in Cebu. During this time, SOS Children has become a well-known and respected advocate for children. We work alongside local organisations who are also concerned with protecting the rights of children. In Cebu, we are based near Talambam, one of the areas with urban slums. 

What SOS Children do in Cebu 

SOS Children supports families living in the local community, as well as providing a home for children who have lost parental care. 

Our family support programme assists families who could be at risk of abandoning their children. We work closely with local authorities to help families to care for their children and give nutritional, educational and health support. When needed we also provide counselling and advice on parenting skills. Essential medical treatment is available from the SOS Social centre. 

In SOS Children's Village Cebu, children who have lost parental care can find a loving home. Here, they live in an SOS family, grow up with their SOS brothers and sisters, and are affectionately cared for by an SOS Mother. Young children attend the SOS nursery, along with children from the local community. Day care services are really valued by parents who go out to work or receive training. 

Children from SOS families go to local schools, as well as events organised by the local community. Likewise, activities that SOS Children host are open to neighbouring families. We offer special support to children in our care according to their individual needs, for example help with school work or providing therapy. As children grow up, they can take part in the SOS youth programmes, where they are supported on their journey to independence. Young people in Cebu are supported as they complete vocational training courses, attend higher education and look for work.

With your help, children and families in Cebu can receive the support that they need. Will you help change a life, and sponsor a child today?


Did you know? An SOS mother will often work for SOS Children for many years, caring for several generations of children.