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Child sponsorship: villages needing support

There are currently a number of villages requiring additional support - why not consider helping us by sponsoring a child at one of them?

Benin: Dassa-Zoumé

The two SOS Children’s Villages in Benin, in Abomey-Calavi, near the capital Cotonou, and Natiningou in the north of the country, were simply not sufficient to care for the many vulnerable children in Benin. Due to high unemployment rates as well as a lack of financial and material resources needed to provide necessary infrastructure and social and educational support, many families in the country are often forced to survive in difficult and insecure living conditions, depriving their children of an education and often leading to their abandonment.

Mother and children, SOS Children's Village Dassa-Zoumé, Benin

The town of Dassa-Zoumé is located in central Benin, and although a popular place for both tourists and pilgrims, it lacks the infrastructure and support its communities need. SOS Children therefore decided to construct a new village in the town to try to improve the situation for local families and children. Built on a plot of land provided by the Benin authorities, the village opened its doors in October 2005, consisting of 12 family homes, which can accommodate up to 120 children.

Up to 260 children are educated at the nearby SOS nursery and primary schools and the SOS Social Centre supports thousands of people every year, by providing effective medical care and educating people on prevention of illness and disease, for example, running awareness programmes on the HIV virus.

Read about the experiences of some of the children living in SOS Children’s Village Dassa-Zoumé, or more about our work in Benin.

El Salvador: San Vicente

SOS family in San Vicente, El Salvador

The SOS Children's Village San Vicente was built as a response to this central region of El Salvador’s various social problems that negatively impact on the lives of children and families in the area. The region suffers from a high unemployment rate and a number of young single mothers who, because of their often limited education, live in poverty and are liable to abandoning their children.

The village is made up of 12 family houses, and became home to almost 120 children in June 2004. There is an adjoining SOS Social Centre, which offers child day-care services to local families, an SOS Health Centre as well as training workshops.

Each month, the paediatric and dentist surgeries at the SOS Health Centre offer medical assistance for up to 240 people from the surrounding area. The workshops offer training in dressmaking, cosmetics, bakery and more recently in childminding for youths and young mothers in order to improve their chances on the labour market as well as their living conditions. The child day-care centre has a capacity of up to 175 children and babies, allowing parents to continue to work and earn a living, helping to keep families together.

Read about Fernando, one of the children making progress at the SOS Children's Village San Vicente or find out more about SOS Children's work in El Salvador.

Guinea: Kankan

Children from the SOS Children's Village, Kankan, Guinea

The third SOS Children’s Village to be opened in Guinea, the village in Kankan provides up to 120 children a family home in its 12 family houses. Situated close to the border with Mali and 320 miles from the capital Conakry, Kankan is the second largest city in Guinea. The country has been affected by the civil wars that raged in neighbouring countries, creating social and economic difficulties as a result. However, it was the lack of care services for abandoned children in Guinea that was the main incentive for building a third SOS Children’s Village in Kankan to better support the east of the country.

As well as providing a home to so many disadvantaged children, the village also includes a nursery and primary school, providing more than 200 pupils from both the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood with a vital, basic education.

Read about the Christmas wishes of some SOS children from Guinea or find out more about SOS Children's work in Guinea.

Guinea Bissau: Gabú

SOS mother and two girls, Gabú, Guinea-Bissau

Although SOS Children’s Villages has experienced some turbulent times since it began working in Guinea-Bissau in 1991, the country’s second village, situated in Gabú, has been able to provide much needed support to communities in the eastern region.

After many delays due to political and social unrest in the country, SOS Children’s Village Gabú was officially opened in 2001 by the then state President Kumba Yala. The village’s 10 family houses can provide up to 100 children with a new family home and the nearby nursery and primary schools ensure that over 300 children, both from the village as well as the local community, receive a basic education.

In January 2006, the SOS Children’s Villages childcare model was commended and the profession of SOS mother given official recognition by the government of Guinea-Bissau - a great achievement and recognition of the organisation’s work in the country.

Read about some of the recent goings on at the SOS Children's Village Gabú or about the charity's work in Guinea-Bissau.

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