Tirana

Children from Tirana, AlbaniaWhen SOS Children's Villages visited the Albanian capital Tirana in 1992, the standard of care for orphans was very poor. When we saw what life was like for these children, we knew we had to act.

SOS Children's Villages is based in Sauk, a village just outside the capital. Many children living here are new to area, having moved from areas where employment rates are low. They have lost their friends and extended family, and, too often, this loss is in vain, as families face new social and economic problems and struggle to adapt to their new surroundings.

Supporting a diverse community

The Sauk area is home to many Roma families. Albanian Romas have been badly affected by the upheaval of the last decade. Social discrimination leads to higher levels of unemployment and many Roma children go without an education because their families cannot afford to send them to school.

Far-reaching care to families in Tirana

SOS Children's Villages saw the state of the care for lone children in 1992 and had to act. Although things have improved since, the faltering economy means that government initiatives have failed to reach everyone. In Tirana, we are able to plug this gap by working out in the community as well as providing care to orphans living in the Children's Village. We prioritise those most in need, such as children from single-parent households, families with many children, and those from a Roma background. However, we do our best to reach as many as possible.

In a country where violence is high and organised crime a real problem, children are in desperate need of safety, security and stability. That is why we set up a library, providing much-needed resources to help children learn, and keeping them off the streets, out of the way of those wishing to exploit them. As well as this, we offer courses in pottery, painting, computing and foreign languages.

Children supported by SOS Social Centre FSP at Sauk, AlbaniaOur SOS Children's Village in Tirana

Our Village provides now provides a home for well over 100 children. A Nursery provides somewhere for children to learn and play, as well as giving parents the freedom to go out and earn a living to care for their families. Family support helps keep fragile families together, offering guidance on parenting and household finance as well as counselling and financial help where necessary.

When children living in the Village are old enough, they move into central Tirana, where an SOS Youth Home provides semi-independent living while they study for vocational or higher academic qualifications.

Learn more about Sauk...

Sauk is a village with a population size of roughly 6,000 people, located just under two miles southeast of Albania's capital, Tirana. The Village is situated in a truly beautiful location, next to a park and a lake.

Tirana is the capital city of Albania, with a population of over 600,000. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman settlement in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. The city is home to many universities and is the central to the political, economical, and cultural life of the country.

SOS Children's Villages provides hope to Albanian children who would otherwise have nothing. Our wide-reaching community work allows us to reach far beyond the children in our Village itself, improving life for many families around Tirana.

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Have you seen Our Africa? It is a video site looking at Africa through the eyes of its children.