An increasing rate of HIV/AIDS in the area

SOS mothers provide children with the care and support they need (photo: M. Mägi).
The city of Temirtau is situated about 180 kilometres south-east of Astana, the country's capital. The nearest larger city is Karaganda, which is the capital of the Karaganda region. Temirtau is an industrial city with approximately 180,000 inhabitants. The region has undergone economic and social development in recent years, including the modernisation of its industrial base.

However, in spite of these improvements the area's social and economic situation is of great concern. The rate of unemployment is very high and many families live in poverty. As a result of the changing conditions, children often lose parental care and end up being placed into state-run institutions.

The area also has a high number of AIDS and drug-related deaths. Many of those suffering from drug addictions have been in prison or face housing problems. They often risk developing tuberculosis. Children from these families are vulnerable – in most cases they do not attend kindergarten or school and are socially isolated.

Families in need are supported and children are given hope for the future

The conditions in Temirtau make the work of SOS Children's Villages particularly important. The local municipality has been very supportive of the work that our organisation does in the area and donated the plot of land on which the SOS family homes are built.

SOS Children's Villages works very closely with the local community. The children from the SOS families are actively integrated into the local community – they attend the city school and take part in activities such as regional concerts or sports competitions.

What we do in Temirtau