SOS Children's Village in Gwagwalada near Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the most important countries in Africa, with some 120 million inhabitants (2002). It is the most populated country in the African continent, with over 400 different ethnic groups and 36 states. It is famous for its corruption, with considerable oil revenues never benefiting the povery-striken population. The population of Nigeria is young (44% under the age of 14 years) and there is a steady drift of people from the countryside to urban areas in search of better quality of life. HIV AIDS is an increasing problem, with about 4 million people currently believed to be infected.
The last few years have seen repeated violent local conflicts, especially in the southern regions. Wide-spread poverty, high unemployment, growing economic strife and territorial disputes have been the breeding ground for radicalism and local unrest. With the beginning of Obasanjo's presidency in 1999, Nigeria was redirected towards a path of reform. Essential for this are the fight against corruption and the revival of the economy, as well as measures against poverty.
The new SOS Children's Village is to be built in Gwagwalada near the city of Abuja in central Nigeria. Abuja was developed to replace Lagos in 1991 as the capital. In the SOS Children's Village planned for Abuja, street children in need will find a home, education and hope.