Karlino is a town in the province of Pomerania in northwestern Poland, situated about 18 miles from the Baltic Sea. Agriculture is the area's primary industry but, today, many people are unemployed and most families live in poverty.
The local government has done much to modernise Karlino and schools, sports centres, surgeries, clinics and a hospital have all been built in recent years. However, a lack of work means that many families still struggle to stay afloat.
Children face limited life chances
In 2008, the Kostrzyn-Slubice Special Economic Zone was established. This was a scheme which aimed to improve the economic situation in the local area, creating new jobs and attracting foreign investors. Unfortunately, the project has had a minimal impact on the local economy, and the region remains one of the poorest in Poland.
The local government has strived to improve infrastructure in Karlino, with new sports centres, surgeries and a hospital being built. However, as wages are low in Karlino, most residents cannot afford to use these new facilities.
State support for families not enough
Many children in Karlino miss out on a good education and basic healthcare. Less than half of Poland’s children attend nursery, and in rural areas such as Karlino, the figure stands at as low as a quarter. Many children lose their parental care due to a number of reasons which include unemployment, a lack of social welfare support, and addiction.
The government tries to support vulnerable families so that as many children as possible can stay with their own families. However, there are simply not enough social welfare schemes to provide all families with the support they require. In light of this issue, SOS Children’s Villages continues to play an important part in improving the living conditions of children in Poland.
Our work in Karlino
Each child in our care is welcomed into one of our twelve SOS families, supported along with their brothers and sisters by their SOS mother. They attend school in town, enabling them to grow up as part of the wider community.
We also support fragile families to ensure children can access educational and health services. Parents are provided with counselling and psychological support, which is a great foundation for them to start searching for employment.
As the children near adulthood, we help them adjust to adult life at our SOS youth home in Koszalin, a city located 18 miles from Karlino. Teenagers adapt to the challenges of living independently with the help of the SOS team, while undertaking vocational training or higher education.
We provide Karlino's most vulnerable children with a family and a promising start for a prosperous life. Please give monthly to help Poland's neediest children.