SOS Children's Village Cuzco is situated in the city of the same name, which was once the centre of the legendary Inca empire. Cuzco is located in the Peruvian Andes highlands at an altitude of 3,399 m and at present has around 750,000 inhabitants.
The SOS Children's Village is two kilometres from the city centre in the district of Santiago. It consists of twelve family houses, where up to 108 children can find a new home, the village director's house, a house for the so-called SOS aunts (SOS mother trainees or family helpers who support the SOS mothers during their daily work and fill in for them when they are ill or on leave), a community building with rooms for functions and festivities, and an administration and service area. There are also two sports fields, where the children can play.
For youngsters from the SOS Children's Village, two SOS Youth Facilities were set up in town in 1999. They consist of various flats shared by up to 20 youngsters.
Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.
An SOS Social Centre was opened in March 2003. It is open to the people from the neighbourhood and offers programmes that have been specially adapted to the needs of local community. Its main aim is to alleviate hardship and thereby prevent families from abandoning their children. The SOS Social Centre runs a day-care centre, where up to 120 pre-school kids can be looked after. This gives the children's mothers, most of whom are single mothers, the possibility to go to work and to make a living for themselves and their children.