Sponsor a child in Indonesia

Children from Flores, IndonesiaLocated between Asia and Australia, Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago and fourth most populous nation. Most children who grow up here do not go to school, instead facing a childhood of forced labour or prostitution. SOS Children has been protecting young lives in Indonesia since 1970.

You can help an Indonesian child regain their childhood by sponsoring an child with SOS Children:

Sponsor a child in Indonesia

Desperation amid beauty

Indonesia's geographical diversity and natural splendour make it a beautiful country to call home, but life is hard for its people. Poverty is widespread in rural areas, where mobility and trade are limited by poor roads and communication. Around three in ten people in Indonesia do not have access to clean drinking water, mostly in the countryside. Many people move to the city in search of work, but migrants are often disappointed and vulnerable to trafficking for forced labour and prostitution.

Children in Indonesia

Poverty forces millions of Indonesian children to abandon school and work instead to support their conditions. Often conditions are dire and pay always appalling. Many young girls work as prostitutes, mainly after running away from home when early marriage fails. In rural parts, one in three children are forced to marry young, and often these marriages quickly end in divorce. Girls are unable to return to their families and many have no option but to turn to prostitution to make a living.

Indonesia mapOur Work in Indonesia

SOS Children began work in Indonesia in 1970, and we currently run eight Villages across the country, with a ninth in progress near Yogyakarta near the capital Jakarta. Across our eight Villages, we provide lone children with a loving mother and a home where they can live till they are ready for independent life.

We provide education and vocational training to children from our Villages as well as the surrounding areas, giving young people a sound footing for future success. We offer support to fragile families who might otherwise break apart, along with medical care to children who would otherwise suffer from treatable illnesses and malnutrition.

In Jakarta, we run a travelling resources centre - the SOS Playbus - which offers a new way to learn and play. For many of the children the Playbus visits, new books are a rarity, while the hands-on workshop-style development methods the Playbus delivers are an entirely new experience for these children.

LembangBoy at CV Semarang, Indonesia

SOS Children's first Indonesian Children's Village was built in Lembang in western Java. The Children's Village in Lembang has enough families to accommodate well over 100 children. It offers nursery schooling for young children and a primary school for around 600 pupils from the local community. Vocational training enables young people to prepare for a career, while helping SOS mothers work on their parenting and staff realise their full potential. Family support helps fragile families overcome financial pressures, keeping children with their natural parents.


In 1984 we built a Village in Cibubur, on the outskirts of Jakarta. While the Village offers nursery schooling to young children, older children attend private or state elementary and secondary schools. At the centre of the Village is a 'pendopo', a traditional Indonesian assembly hall, which is used for meetings, parties, dancing and sports events. Local children and their parents also benefit from family support. An SOS Playbus acts as a mobile library and social centre, touring the poorer areas of Jakarta to provide books and all manner of interactive activities to stimulate and encourage learning. The Playbus is a huge success, and children from local schools eagerly anticipate the next visit. Teachers have reported a marked improvement in the work of children touched by the Playbus.


Semarang was the site chosen for our next Children's Village in 1984. Located in the capital of central Java, on the north coast of the island, the Village has family homes for well over 100 children. A small nursery provides an introduction to learning for younger children, while older boys go on to prepare for independent life at our SOS Youth Home nearby. In one corner of the Village a number of ponds supply the Village with fresh fish, while each family has its own vegetable patch. Some of the children also run a little chicken farm. A family support project helps fragile families from the local area cope with day-to-day financial pressures, aiming to keep natural families together.


SOS Children Bali is situated about 20 miles west of the island's capital of Denpasar. A large orchard provides the Village with fresh fruit, and two small ponds supply fresh fish. Children are brought up following Balinese cultural traditions, while the Village has a strong identity of its own, with sport a particular interest. Of particular note is the girls' volleyball team, which has achieved considerable local success. A nursery helps children from the Village and the local community take the first few steps of their educational career. Three SOS Youth Homes in Denpasar support SOS teenagers on their first steps towards independence as they approach adulthood, and many local parents and children benefit from family support.


FollowingCV Bali, Indonesia a devastating earthquake on the island of Flores in December 1992, SOS Children built a Village in the town of Waturia, opening three years later in 1995. As the island is frequently struck by earthquakes, the Village buildings have special earthquake-proof roof constructions and the floors have been raised to provide protection in the event of a tsunami. Vegetable gardens have been laid out for each house to provide the families with fresh vegetables and fruit trees have been planted. Many local families are able to stay together thanks to the support programmes we run out in the community.

Emergency relief

In 1999, heavy fighting in East Timor between government troops and independence fighters prompted SOS Children to establish an emergency relief programme as people fled the region. We provided shelter at SOS Children's Village Flores to 130 children from an orphanage in Dili, the capital of East Timor. The children remained in our care for the duration of the war.

SOS Children and the Boxing Day Tsunami

On the morning of 26 December 2004, a devastating tsunami caused by a massive earthquake struck coastal areas around the Indian Ocean. More than 130,000 people died in Indonesia and thousands of children were separated from their parents. The coastline between the cities of Banda Aceh and Meulaboh was the worst-affected area and many families fled the peninsula to seek refuge in nearby Medan.

SOS Children was one of the first NGOs to offer support to the survivors in Aceh province after the tsunami struck and we continue to provide long-term assistance in the area. Many children were orphaned and the loss of homes, infrastructure and possessions continues to affect communities.

SOS Children is still working to provide communities with the support they need to regain their lives, and has constructed three new Children's Villages in the Aceh region. The Villages, each beginning with 15 houses, are located in Meulaboh, Medan and Banda Aceh and provide hundreds of children with new families. We also constructed three nurseries and two mosques, allowing the continuation of learning and the region's proud spiritual tradition. Family support keeps fragile families together through financial support and expert guidance.

Life in SOS Children's Villages Indonesia

Twin brothers Yusri and Yusrani, like most of the children who live at SOS Children's Village Meulaboh, are survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. They were just five when the powerful tsunami killed many people in their home town of Tanom, including their parents. Following the tragedy, their elderly grandmother did her best to care for them, but grief-stricken and poor, she found it difficult to cope. She decided the best thing to do was to bring them to live with a new mother and family at the SOS Children’s Village in Meulaboh, one of six built in Asia following the tragedy.

At the SOS Children's Village the boys have found a loving and caring home where they now live with their new siblings and SOS mother, who is also a tsunami survivor. They enjoy regular visits from their grandmother and are doing well at school.

Local contact

SOS Desa Taruna Indonesia

Jalan Sari Endah No. 9


40152 Bandung


Tel: +62/22/201 28 81

Fax: +62/22/201 10 26

e-mail: nco@sos.or.id