Children in Bosnia

Children growing up in the Bosnian countryside are at a considerable disadvantage. Though access to primary education is generally high, school attendance is low amongst children from rural parts.

Many Roma children grow up without an education because they are not registered with the authorities. Lack of education puts these children at serious risk. Of the one in twenty children aged five to 14 who are involved in child labour, it is those from rural areas that represent two thirds of this figure.

Unemployment stands at 45%, the highest in Europe, and one in five lives in poverty.

Our Children's Villages in Bosnia

The war was still in progress when we first began work in Bosnia in 1994, delivering emergency aid to families in Sarajevo who were caring for orphaned children. We provided youth clubs, therapy and counselling to help young people recover from the trauma of war. In the aftermath of the 2014 floods, we acted swiftly to offer displaced families somewhere to live and provide counselling and financial support to those most in need.

Other SOS projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina include the rebuilding of two nurseries in Mostar which were destroyed in the war.

Sponsor a child in bosnia

After the war, we opened two Children's Villages. Our Village in Sarajevo was built on the site of a residential district extensively damaged during the war. The Village opened with 16 family houses for up to 102 children, all of whom had been left alone by the conflict. An SOS Youth Home provides accommodation for young adults as they prepare to leave our care, while a sports ground offers children somewhere to unwind and get sporty. We provide vocational training to children from the Village and surrounding community at our SOS social centre. Our Playbus visits schools, hospitals, parks and orphanges, enabling us to reach thousands of disadvantaged children each month around Sarajevo.

Gračanica, Tuzla

Bosnia’s second Children’s Village opened in north-eastern Bosnia on a hill overlooking the town of Gračanica, a short drive from Tuzla, in 1998. Located several miles from the city centre, SOS Gracanica offers a loving home to many children who have lost their parents. The Village also has a Youth Home for children on the verge of independence.

Local contact

SOS Children’s Villages Bosnia and Herzegovina

Semira Fraste

71000 Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina

+387/33/465 218

Fax: +387/33/465 323


Explore SOS

SOSUK welcomes call to end ‘heartbreak’ of refugee family reunion rules

Aid agency SOS Children’s Villages UK welcomed comments by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott on the need to change immigration rules that keep families apart.

Get Involved

Without our supporters, we could not do this. Whether you are an individual, a school, a company, a trust or a foundation, here you can discover all the best ways to fundraise for us and raise awareness of our work.


You can help children who have lost their parents. They may have been orphaned by AIDS, natural disaster or conflict. Poverty may have forced their parents to give them up, or they may have been separated from their family by war.