Latin America

The situation of children in Latin America and the Caribbean in numbers

95% of our children in care are in institutions and NOT in families, waiting on average 4.5 years. And MANY more are living exposed and vulnerable within their own homes, but have nowhere to go, for lack of safe families to care for them.

240,000 children grow up in residential care centers 10% are under 3 YEARS OLD

46,2% of children aged 0-14 in Latin America live in poverty. These children mostly live in remote rural areas, and increasingly in peri-urban settings.

63% of children under 15 years old experience violent discipline at home (psychological or physical)

7.9 MILLION migrants under 18 in the Americas. There is an increasing number of vulnerable children moving on their own often ¬eeing from poverty and violence in their homes or communities


  • Almost 12 million children and adolescents are outside the education system
  • Over 8 million children under 14 have a disability and are at risk of being excluded
  • 1 out of 20 children under 5 is left home alone or under the care of a child under 10 years

The solution is clear:

  • Children at-risk of separation need family strengthening
  • Children removed from their homes need temporary loving foster families while their case proceeds
  • Children separated from their families need reunification whenever possible and safe
  • Children who can’t go home to their own family need permanency with a local adoptive family
  • Youth aging out of children’s homes need families/mentors to love and support them

Latin America WO works to: 

  • End the institutionalization of children through lobby and advocacy campaigns
  • Strengthen crises families to prevent family-child separation and support Foster and Adoptive families through training and support programs
  • Engage churches to support families and promote adoption
  • Building new national movements in the region

"Source: UNICEF, Humanium, SOS Children's Villages International".


Countries with National Initiatives

Brazil Without Orphans

There are many good stories from Brazil, many stories of reunification that were successful and many stories of adoption that were also successful. I think that one of the greatest things that we have reached in Brazil is that, sooner, we are really starting, officially starting the movement, the WWO movement in Brazil and we are gathering a group of important leaders from many different organizations that are making a great impact in their regions and even in the nation. We are very excited about that.

Paraguay Protects Families

Paraguay is one of the poorest nations in the Americas. Nearly 40 % of the population faces a life in poverty. Due to this, it is difficult for families to raise children in good living conditions. Many Paraguayan children face great hardships as they go through life. Statistics show that 15%, or one in four children in Paraguay between the ages of 10 and 17, work to help their families survive. Many children from low-income families either decide to leave their homes to work and live in the streets. This situation causes children to be separated from their families.

Regional Stories

WWO 2024: Ambassadors, a roadmap and a call to strengthen the work with orphans

This is the last of three articles summarising the World Without Orphans 2024 Global Gathering in Thailand.
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Spotlight on Pachi Zabala

Not only is Pachi facilitating the training and development of leaders and teams at a regional and country level in the WWO movement across Latin America, she is investing time locally by supporting young women who either happen to play or are in training to play on an Argentine women’s professional football team.
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Finding Family in Paraguay

Little *Sofia was born in Paraguay almost a year ago and in her short life has already known three mothers. It's a complex story for an infant's first year of life, and yet thanks to the advocacy of WWO partner Paraguay Protects Families, Sofia has been protected each step of the way!
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Collaboration Grows Movement in Paraguay

Little Paloma* was born into a very difficult situation. The baby’s mother, overwhelmed by her own life challenges, disappeared after the birth of Paloma, leaving the baby girl in need of parental care. Three years prior to Paloma’s birth, a family in Paraguay heard a message from WWO representatives who were visiting Paraguay and sharing about the importance of adoption and foster care. It seemed God had been planting seeds to prepare this family for an event that would take place three years later.
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WWO Brazil Officially Launches and Momentum Gains for The Send

Seven individuals who attended the Global Forum or other regional gatherings have come together to officially launch World Without Orphans Brazil! February is an important month for the WWO Brazil team, as they will be partnering with 1Million Home to gather church and ministry leaders from around the country to talk through the best way to see children experience permanence and safety. Please pray for this gathering!
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