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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

Juliette's journey: Learning how to support her family in Côte d’Ivoire

Juliette's journey: Learning how to support her family in Côte d’Ivoire

Juliette is a young mother of three living in Côte d’Ivoire, whose husband's tragic death left her alone and unemployed, with no means to provide for her family. Thanks to the help of SOS Children, she has been able to realise her dream of becoming a teacher, and is now able to support her family independently.

Following her husband’s sudden death, Juliette did her best to provide for her three young children. However, without a job and with no extended family to support her, she was increasingly unable to meet her children’s basic needs. Meals were barely adequate, she was unable to pay for her children’s education, or afford any medical expenses if the family fell ill.

In 2006, Juliette approached the SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) in Abobo in Côte d’Ivoire for help. The programme gave her family another chance. Four times a year, Juliette and her children received a food package containing staples such as rice and oil. The parcel also included insecticide to drive away mosquitoes, responsible for deadly malaria. The children received school uniforms, books and materials, as well as new clothing twice a year. The FSP also supported the family with any medical expenses. The improvement in the children’s living conditions quickly had a noticeable effect on them, and they soon started performing better at school.

To ensure that Juliette is able to provide for her children independently in the long-term, SOS have supported Juliette to find a career. Juliette had always wanted to be a teacher and in 2009, she applied for a position as a teacher in the Ivorian civil service.  SOS paid the application fee of 40 Euros. "Compiling my file was very difficult because it required documents like my birth certificate that I could only get from my village, which is far away. I also had to wake up early in the morning to get in line, hoping to be among the first for the medical test," she explains. Her determination paid off when she found she had got the job. Juliette began two years of training - one year of theory and one year of practice- without having to worry about her family, as they continued to receive support from SOS.

Juliette started teaching in a public school in Abidjan in January 2010. During her first year she was teaching primary-school-age children subjects including languages, poetry, mathematics and physical education. She admits that she initially struggled to combine theory with practice. But with time, she felt more confident and started to enjoy the profession which she always wanted to pursue. "I love what I am doing; it is my choice. For years, I always dreamed of being a teacher," she says. Now a qualified teacher, Juliette is able to support her family’s needs independently and no longer needs the financial support of SOS Children "I know how lucky I am," she says.

SOS Children's Family Strengthening Programmes provide essential services which support vulnerable children to stay with their families all over the world. You can find out more about our FSPs and our work in Côte d’Ivoire.