Child poverty, SOS Children's Village

Who decides the future of children?

In Germany, 21 percent of all children over the age of five live permanently or recurrently in poverty*. Even if fortunately no child in Germany has to starve to death because of poverty, the situation in life determines the future prospects of children.

Child poverty has many faces. It can be material. But child poverty can also mean that there is no one who gives love, support and security to a child. Poor children lack important things to grow up healthy, to develop their potential and to have chances for a happy future. Poverty is a vicious circle – and is often passed on from generation to generation.

SOS Children’s Villages is committed to ensuring that every child in Germany has the chance of a good future – regardless of the possibilities of their parents.

*Source: Bertelsmann Foundation 2017: Child poverty is often a permanent condition in Germany

Support SOS Children’s Villages. For more equal opportunities in Germany.


Interview with the head of the youth housing groups and the social pedagogue in the field of outpatient assistance in Augsburg.

Children are also neglected in Germany

Every 13 minutes a child is taken from his or her original family for protection against neglect.

Children also suffer in Germany

Almost every sixth child in Germany is poor. Mia is one of them. Her mother is a single parent. But although she goes to work, lacks for.

Child poverty in major German cities

Because his mother was a drug addict, Tobias came into the care of SOS-Kinderdorf at the age of 13 months. There he found support and was allowed to stay together.

For more equal opportunities in Germany

When Justin came to SOS Children’s Villages day care three years ago, he was “a completely different child,” as his educator remembers.

Interview with Melanie Patten

SOS Children’s Village employee Melanie Patten talks about her daily work with children and their families in an interview.

Poverty on one’s own doorstep

SOS employee Dr. Vincent Richardt explains the basic idea of the family centre, which is so important especially in large cities.

Sometimes the most necessary things are missing

After an accident Timo comes to the hospital. His mother cannot pay for the trip. The SOS Children’s Village in Wilhelmshaven helped.

Child poverty in Germany

So you can help!

For projects like this, we need your support.

Important career prospects for young people

Good vocational training is more important than ever today. But what can you do if your school-leaving certificate has failed and you are threatened with slipping into state support? If the apprenticeship you found was not the right one or if problems at home make good exam preparation impossible? Many young people are afraid of school, problems in their families, little stamina or a lack of knowledge of German. That is why they need special support.

SOS Children’s Villages opens up new perspectives for young people who hardly have a chance on the job market and helps them to start a self-determined life. In our four training centres, young people can choose from 20 professions, including training in the hospitality industry, handicrafts, media and administration.

Learning to cook independently and healthily

In the three curative education flat-sharing communities at SOS-Kinderdorf in Weilheim, children from the age of eleven are cared for around the clock, who can no longer live at home after serious family crises, are cared for, promoted and supported.

In order to give these children and adolescents from difficult backgrounds joy in preparing meals and an awareness of a balanced diet, cooking courses are held regularly. Cooking is a necessary basic skill if young people and young adults want to become self-employed. Knowledge of home economics, such as the importance of prices and offers, the seasonal availability of food, hygiene in the kitchen and research into recipes, is indispensable for a self-determined life.

The SOS Children’s Village Weilheim conveys all this in five-part cooking courses for four to six children and young people each. Under the guidance of a cook, they shop together, prepare the meals with age-appropriate utensils in the children’s kitchen and eat them together. At the end of the current eight courses per year, there is a hot cooking duel in which the young champions compete against each other as a team. By preparing a two-course menu in just two hours, they show team spirit and their acquired knowledge.

When young women, who have not yet grown up themselves, become mothers, this often happens in a difficult life situation: sometimes their partner or their own parents turn their backs on them, and often this also entails the loss of the training place. The entire life plan changes – and the demands placed on a young mother are already high enough. Young women often feel left alone.

The SOS Children’s Village Augsburg offers comprehensive support for up to six pregnant women and young mothers aged 16 and over: They can live together with their children in a two-room apartment in the new SOS Family Center. An experienced SOS employee is available around the clock to provide advice and assistance. The focus is not only on caring for, caring for and educating the child. The focus is also on the relationships between the young mother and her family, the father or partner and the entire social network. The aim is always to help the young mothers in their life planning and on the way to a life of their own responsibility.

Learning to solve conflicts without violence

In schools, more and more children and young people are noticing that their heads are no longer free for teaching and learning – rather, they are occupied with complex problems in their social environment. Failures and a drop in performance at school, truancy, social exclusion and an intensification of antisocial behaviour are usually not long in coming. Above all, this makes educational and training opportunities more difficult and gradually worsens the conditions for participation in social life.

The school project SOS-KompASS of the SOS-Kinderdorf Württemberg counteracts this momentous process preventively. In the school project SOS-KompASS, pupils with difficulties in social interaction learn how to solve conflicts without violence and how to show more consideration for their own needs as well as those of others. In recreational and experiential educational project offers, the pupils experience outside the school curriculum that they can only reach their goal through cooperation, mutual support and consideration – for example when building a rope bridge.

They learn basic social skills such as mutual consideration, respectful and appreciative interaction, teamwork and non-violent conflict resolution. Children of working parents or single parents also receive secure and pedagogically valuable afternoon care. The experiences and skills acquired in the SOS-KompASS project take the children and young people with them into class, into later vocational training and into their future careers.

Because hobbies are important: open offers for children and parents

So-called open offers for children and their parents remedy concrete grievances – from a lack of clothing to homework supervision and tutoring to sufficient and healthy nutrition. For example, various family centres and advice centres of SOS Children’s Villages offer a lunch table for schoolchildren and cooking courses for parents “for the small budget” – born from the realisation that children from poor families eat less well.

SOS Children’s Villages offers a variety of services to support parents who cannot offer their children these opportunities on their own, such as families with a migration background or single parents. The offers are geared to local needs and include sports and music activities, swimming courses and bicycle courses.

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Christina Cherry
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