Children in Belarus
Many people living in Belarus are feeling the impact of the recent social and economic crisis. Many children are forced to work, and a high percentage are married before they reach adulthood.
Growing up in Belarus
The Roma minority face discrimination in all areas of life. It begins with difficulties enrolling in schools, which leads to high levels of illiteracy and results in high levels of unemployment.
It’s estimated that 5% of children under the age of 14 are forced to work, and over 3% are also forced into marriage before they reach adulthood.
Human trafficking affects children and the country is a source and transit point for girls forced to work in prostitution in Central and Western Europe.
Children who are most at risk of losing parental care are those with special needs and those who have been subject to abuse.
Our Children's Villages in Belarus
Belarus was severely affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. It was for this reason that SOS Children’s Villages decided to build a village, which provided a home as well as a treatment centre for children suffering from the effects of radiation.
At present SOS Children’s Villages run various programmes which support children, young people and families in the surrounding communities. Youth programmes provide young adults with advice, allowing them to learn how to live semi-independently. The SOS social centres have been running family strengthening programmes.
The Village has 13 family houses which are home to 100 children. An SOS Youth Home has been established in Minsk for the older children who have grown up in the Village and are on the verge of independence.
A second SOS Children's Village was opened in 2004 in Marina Gorka, about 25 miles from Minsk and it consists of 12 family houses for 84 children. The Village is currently being expanded to include a few extra houses. There is also an SOS Social Centre that runs a Family Strengthening Programme for 700 vulnerable children and their families in the local community. The neighbouring residential area is well-equipped and offers a park, a school, a nursery, a hospital and shops.
A third SOS Children’s Village opened in Mogilev in 2010. Mogilev is Belarus’ third-largest city. The Village provides housing for up to 91 children. A Family Strengthening Programme was started here in 2007.
Please include the name of your sponsored child in the address of any postal or email communication with our office in Belarus. Thank you.
Public Org. of Belarus’ SOS Children’s Village Foundation
FAO Marina Gorka
Tel: +375 17 306 4510, +375 17 306 4511, +375 17 306 4512
Fax: +375 17 306-4512