The city of Quilpué is situated in central Chile and has a population of around 150,000. Its proximity to the larger city of Valparaíso has boosted Quilpué's economy, and most people here are now employed in the commercial and service sectors.
As a whole the region is making great strides towards reducing poverty, ensuring education for all, and improving homes and healthcare. However, it is important to ensure that no one is left behind by this progress.
Great inequality continues to exist in the region, and often lives side by side with relative wealth. Poverty levels can jump from 11% to 25% between neighbouring communities. These contrasting levels of wealth will continue to hamper the life chances of thousands and limit the impact of development
This disparity is equally clear when looking beyond income, for example by comparing levels of malnourishment amongst under sixes. Non-economic disparities like this have a very direct impact on the life chances of children throughout the region and work must be done to combat this.
The problems of inequality between regions becomes particularly apparent when looking at the varying life chances of women. For example, over 42% of candidates for election in Quilpué are female, but in neighbouring districts this figure drops to zero.
Just as importantly, the quality of maternal health care and levels of teenage pregnancy can change drastically between different areas. Tackling the challenges that women face will mean a fairer and more prosperous society, and will especially benefit children who depend on their mothers for care and affection.
What does SOS children do?
SOS Children's Village Quilpué was established in 1983 and remains the only one in the Valparaíso region. The support it offers to children and its work raising awareness of children's rights are, therefore, incredibly important.
Families for children with no-one
When children in the region can no longer live with their parents they are able to find a loving home in one of the SOS families. Here they are able to live with their brothers and sisters, and are cared for by their SOS mother.
They attend local nurseries and schools, which helps them to integrate with the local community and make friends. The relationships they build and the care they receive during this time forms an essential part of their future success and achievement.
SOS youth programme
When they reach adolescence, young people from SOS families can progress to our SOS youth programme. This offers them advice and practical support, to enable them to take the next step into full independence.
Within the programme they share accommodation with young people from SOS families in different regions. They are also helped by qualified counsellors to take important decisions in this period of transition and begin their adult life on the right foot.
Vulnerable children in Quilpué need your help today. Sponsoring a child just takes a few minutes to set-up, and will help to change a life.