SOS Children in Liberia

SOS Children in Liberia

Liberia, Africa's oldest republic, became independent in 1847. Although founded by freed American slaves, the majority of the population are indigenous Africans, with the slaves' descendants comprising only 5 per cent of the 3.3m population.

A military coup in 1980 marked the start of more than two decades of economic collapse, instability and intermittent civil war. Unknown numbers of Liberians have been killed and around one-third of the population have been displaced. In August 2003, the United Nations intervened and a peace deal was agreed, but the situation remains unstable and the country suffers from chronic food shortages, a lack of basic social services, increased poverty and disease. The rate of HIV infection is increasing, particularly amongst those aged 15 to 49 years.

The charity established its first community in Liberia in 1981 in Matadi, a district of the capital Monrovia, close to the international airport. The community has fifteen family houses, which are home to 150 children, and a youth house for the older boys. Because of the shortage of schools in the area, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary and Secondary School was established next to the village in 1984 for both the SOS children and children from the neighbourhood. The village kindergarten also caters for local families, with room for over 100 children.

A second charity Village opened in 2000 in Juah Town in Bassah county in northern Liberia. The village has six family houses, a kindergarten and a primary and secondary school but had to be evacuated in May 2003 because of the fighting and the children and staff moved to the village in Monrovia. Both the school and the kindergarten remain closed.

In June 2003 a short term emergency relief programme was established for over 7000 refugees from the fighting in the SOS Children's site in Monrovia, providing food and temporary accommodation. An SOS emergency medical centre was set up and, as well as medical care, is providing supplementary feeding programmes for undernourished children.

SOS Children Sponsorship Locations in Liberia

Local Contacts

SOS Children's Villages of Libera Trust, Old Matadi Estate, PO Box 1924, 1000 Monrovia 10, Liberia
Tel: +377/47 51 4878 or +377/ 47 51 48 79
Fax: +00 170/299 33 864

Liberia Child Sponsorship

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