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Côte d'Ivoire
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SOS Children's Villages has opened clinics in both Abobo-Gare and Aboisso to help families and children in need especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. This includes helping local communities with food, medicine, school fees and setting up self-help projects. … more about our charity work in Côte d'Ivoire

SOS Children Côte d’Ivoire celebrates 40 years

Children from SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare
Children from SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare

Opened in 1971, SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare in Cǒte d’Ivoire was the first SOS Children’s Village in Africa.

Opened in 1971, SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare in Côte d’Ivoire was the first SOS Children’s Village in Africa. Located in an extremely poor district where the majority of the population live on less than $1 a day, the Village has provided a home, a family and a happy childhood for over 500 children in the past four decades.

Sidibe was one of the first children to find a home at SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare in 1975, as his parents were unable to care for him. Only a few months old SOS Children's Villages Cote d'Ivoire 40 yrswhen he arrived, he grew up in the Village and is now a successful 35-year old and a father of two. Sidibe speaks fondly of his childhood: “The Village life was great; especially during festive periods…I remember good times where we celebrated occasions together. For example, on Christmas Eve, all the SOS families would gather and have a party outside. I still have good memories of the beautiful SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare. It had a friendly atmosphere for children to grow up in. We really liked it!”

When Sidibe was 20, he moved out of his childhood home and into the SOS Youth Home with other young people from the Village. He begun to take responsibility for his school work, housework and with the support of youth workers, he gradually learnt how to live independently. Sidibe explains: “The separation from my SOS family was not difficult, because the Youth House was located on the Village site. There were ten of us living in the flat, we were all around the same age and got on well”. Sidibe did not complete his academic studies, in his own words “due to a lack of concentration”, so SOS Children supported him to find a vocation. He successfully achieved a diploma in mechanics and he says “thanks to the support of the Village, I was able to obtain a work placement in one of the big companies in the city. I love my work and I find it fascinating”.

Sidibe is also very happy in his family life. He lives with his fiancé and two small children, with a third on the way. He credits his upbringing in the SOS Children’s Village for the values he has and now shares with his own children: “The education I received at SOS Children’s Village Abobo-Gare has enabled me to live in an independent and responsible way. Respect, humility and forgiveness are all important to me and I am proud of my life”.

Across Africa, we provide a new home for 14,000 children in 126 SOS Children's Villages.  In addition, over 600,000 children and their families are supported through our community projects.