Our SOS Children's Village Ladimirevci is located in eastern Croatia, right near the border with Serbia. Just 24km away is Osijek, which is the fourth largest city in Croatia, and is the economic and cultural heart of the country.
The area is known as 'Granary of Croatia' since agriculture is the main source of income for the people there, including the 2,000 who live in Ladimirevci. However, the area still struggles with the legacy of war as well as high levels of poverty.
Damaged by war
The areas close proximity to the Serbian border means that it was particularly badly affected during the Balkans War in the 1990s. This destroyed important infrastructure and decimated peoples livelihoods, and even now these have not yet fully recovered.
Just as importantly, it has caused massive disruption to the lives of people in the region and displaced thousands of families. People are still recovering from this trauma and the high levels of unemployment are a particular clear symptom of this.
Poverty has left many children without adequate parental support, and it is often not possible for these children to stay with their family. Despite reforms, many of these children still end up in institutional care settings, which struggle to adequately fulfil their emotional and psychological needs.
Lack of parental care, limits children's opportunities to flourish and fulfil their full potential. Dealing with this issue is important for ensuring that children can break out of this cycle of poverty and deliver positive change to the region.
What is SOS Children's Villages doing to help?
In Ladimirevci we recognised the need for long term support for both children and families. We began working here in 1995, and today we continue to work hard to ensure that all children get the same chance to succeed.
Hope in a new family
When children can no longer stay with their parents they can find a loving home with one of 16 SOS families. These care for up to 104 children, who live alongside their siblings and are supported by the care and affection of their SOS mother.
They have ample opportunity to make friends with local children in their neighbourhood and at schools. This helps to build their confidence and enables them to integrate with the local community, which will be important as they grow up and become increasingly independent.
SOS youth programme
Our SOS youth programme was set up in 2000 in the nearby city of Osijek. It helps young people who are ready to leave their SOS families and begin taking their first steps into independent adulthood.
They are able to live in special houses and are supported by our qualified staff team. Most undertake some form of higher education or vocational training, and these skills, as well as the attitudes they have developed throughout their lives, will help them have successful futures.
We help children in Ladimirevci who have had a tough start in life. With loving support, we watch these children flourish in our Children's Village. Will you sponsor one of these children today?