SOS Children's Village Juliaca is located southwest of the city of the same name in the province of San Román/Department of Puno in Southern Peru. Juliaca is the capital city of San Román with more than 200,000 inhabitants and the highest lake port in the world in 3,827 metres above sea-level on the banks of Lake Titicaca.
Puno region is the fifth most populated region of Peru and, at the same time, the second poorest region of the country. 42% of the region’s inhabitants live in extreme poverty, 85% of the children do not have access to education. Children and adolescents are the most affected by this hard social situation. They grow up in unsuitable houses, without educational opportunities and suffer from poverty, malnutrition, maltreatment and illness.
As a consequence, children and adolescents could become delinquents, members of street gangs or sexually abused. In the worst case, they are abandoned because their parents are unable to care for them properly due to difficult economic circumstances. With the intention of providing abandoned or orphaned children in the region with long-term care, SOS Children’s Villages decided to establish an SOS Children’s Village in the city of Juliaca.
SOS Children's Village Juliaca is situated on the outskirts of the city on a site of 4,000 m² and consists of fourteen family houses, where up to 126 children can find a new home. In addition to the family houses, there is 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), an administration and service area, and a guest house for SOS Children's Village co-workers who participate in training workshops or who come to SOS Children's Village Juliaca on business.
The children and co-workers from the SOS Children's Village use the kindergartens, schools, health centres and shopping facilities in the vicinity. This ensures that they are well integrated within the community.
In addition to the 14 SOS families living on the premises of the SOS Children’s Village, another 550 children and their respective biological families receive support through so-called Family Strengthening Programmes.
These programmes provide support and child minding to mothers and their children who live in extreme poverty. The key objectives of the programme are to assure the integral development of the children, the development of women, families and the community. The main goal of the programme is to prevent children from being abandoned by their biological relatives due to their difficult social situation.