Sponsor a child in Lithuania

Child from Vilnuis, LithuaniaLithuania is one of the EU's poorest countries. Many children find themselves in old-fashioned state-run institutions simply because their parents cannot afford to look after them. Others are victims of abuse, and many lack access to education and decent healthcare. SOS Children has helped since 1991.

You can make our work go further by sponsoring a child in Lithuania:

Sponsor a child in Lithuania

A faltering economy drives thousands from the country

Lithuania was hard hit by the economic crisis, with unemployment rising to a shocking 18% by 2010. Crime and corruption continue to be a problem, and violent crime is a particular problem in this ex-Soviet state - the homicide rate is one of the highest in Europe. Many Lithuanians have left the country in search of higher living standards. Since the country joined the EU in 2004, the population has dropped by as much as 180,000.

A care crisis

Too often, Lithuanian children are afflicted by violence. Many are taken into care due to physical abuse, while unemployment and poverty means that some parents simply cannot afford to look after their children. Conditions in the state-run institutions in which many children find themselves are far from ideal. The buildings and facilities are old, and there are not enough specialists to look after children in care. For those children who are able to stay with their parents, schools are in short supply and in rural parts the health system is poor as well.

Our Work in Lithuania

Lithuania map

SOS Children began work in Lithuania because of the desperate need for family-based care for children no longer able to live with their parents. An important part of our work involves supporting vulnerable families in local communities.


We have been active in Lithuania since the 1990s when the country's first Children's Village opened in a suburb of the capital city, Vilnius. This diverse city is the economic, cultural and political heart of the country, yet the recent economic crisis has brought hardship to many families.

Many of the children cared for by SOS Children are from troubled backgrounds. Drugs or alcohol are a big problem among deprived families, and this often leads to neglect or even physical abuse for children. In some cases, parents simply cannot afford to look after their children due to unemployment, poor housing, or because they have been forced to move abroad in search of work.

SOS Children works closely with local government to achieve the best results for those in need of care. In Vilnius, we help children fulfil their social and academic potential by enabling them to attend nursery and later school. We also work to make sure they receive the very best healthcare, especially where malnutrition is a risk. We offer support to parents to help them build a secure and stable environment to raise their children, through financial assistance and practical guidance. By providing leisure activities, we enable families to come together and build on their sense of community spirit. This helps create long-lasting ties and community support networks which encourage families to support one another at times of stress and strain.

SOS Children opened a nursery in Vilnius. Here, children received daycare, enabling mothers and fathers to go out to work to make a living. In 2012, however, we were able to hand over control to the local authority, meaning the nursery is now truly in the hands of the community.

Local Contact

SOS Vaiku Kaimu Draugija Lietuvoje

Ukmerges str. 223

07156 Vilnius


Tel: +370 5 274 2717

Fax: +370 5 274 2718

e-mail: info@sos-org.lt