Home to 27,000 inhabitants, Biłgoraj is the capital of the county of the same name and is situated in the country's south-eastern corner, near the border with Ukraine.
Infrastructure and services have improved in recent years, and today, Biłgoraj has hospitals, schools, sports centres and a university. However, a need remains for decent care for lone children – and we are there to fulfil it.
Economic improvements lags behind in Biłgoraj
While many parts of Poland have seen economic improvement over the last two decades, the south-east has has lagged behind other areas of the country. The salaries are considerably lower compared to other areas, and the region has an extremely high rate of poverty and unemployment.
Agriculture is the main source of income in the area, whilst raw material production is important for the construction industry. In 2010, floods had a serious impact on local agriculture. We provided shelter to many of those whose houses had been damaged, and SOS families helped farmers rebuild their livelihoods.
Inadequate care leaves disadvantaged children in hardship
Many children in the region live in poverty, and education and healthcare are sparse, especially in rural areas. Unemployment, addiction and a shortage of social welfare support contribute to the loss of parental care.
Approximately one in three Polish children live in poverty, and this figure is even higher in the Biłgoraj region. This is partly due to the lack of communication between the central and local levels of Polish government. This makes it hard for laws supporting disadvantaged children to take effect.
Many children from poor families are forced to leave home, often ending up in institutions ill-equipped to deliver the level of care these children need. we are there to combat this issue.
What we do in Biłgoraj
We opened an SOS Children's Village in 1984 to help some of the region's poorest and most disadvantaged children.
Providing care for those with no one else
Children who cannot grow up with their parents are welcomed into an SOS family, in which they grow up with their brothers and sisters in the care of an SOS mother. Each home has its own vegetable patch where the family can grow their own produce, and families enjoy living in the surroundings of the Roztocze National Park.
At our “Winnie-the-Pooh” transit home, children destined for foster care benefit from temporary care while the authorities seek to find the best family for them.
Building stronger families throughout the community
We work closely with the local community to support the most vulnerable families in the neighbourhood. We help children get educational, health and nutritional services essential to a happy, healthy upbringing. We also provide parents with advice on parenting and help them to search for employment.
Though life is on the up in Biłgoraj, many children need support to succeed. You can help by giving regularly to support Poland's most vulnerable children.