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Morocco
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SOS Children reaches out to single mothers

SOS Children reaches out to single mothers

In many countries, stigma still surrounds single mothers, and as a result, they often find it difficult to integrate into society. Across the world, SOS Children are providing valuable services for single mothers and their children, and providing opportunities for them to participate in their communities. Here are just two examples from Morocco and Ethiopia.

Morocco

In Sidi Bernoussi, close to the city of Casablanca in Morocco, SOS Children are catering specifically for the needs of single mothers. The SOS Social Centre runs a Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) which works to make sure mothers are able to meet their children’s needs in the best way possible.

Since 2008, the FSP has offered financial support for single parents, as well as milk and nutritional products to support the healthy development of babies and children. The Social Centre offers a childminding programme aimed at single mothers. By providing quality, affordable day care for their children, mothers are able to work, or attend training courses to improve their skills and support their families’ financial needs. Currently, approximately 520 children and parents are benefiting from these services.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, SOS Children are working to empower girls and women, many of them single mothers. Women in the country are often economically and socially dependent on men, and single mothers suffer financial difficulties as well as alienation from their communities due to discrimination. More than 90% of the families we support in Ethiopia are single mothers and their children.

As part of the SOS Children FSP in Bahir Dar, north western Ethiopia, mothers are given the opportunity to begin training in skills relevant to the local job market. They can use these skills to gain paid employment, and meet their families’ financial needs independently. The day-care that SOS Children offers single mothers is invaluable and opens up a range of opportunities. As one single mother describes “I’m so glad my son was taken into the day-care centre – I don’t have to worry about him eating properly or his schooling anymore.” With a loan from SOS Children, she has been able to set up her own small business and improve her and her son’s living conditions. “Before, my son and I couldn’t even afford one meal a day and we had to rely on our neighbours. I then worked for a little while as a cleaner in a nightclub, but I had to take my son with me. I didn’t feel comfortable in those surroundings and was called a prostitute by the boy’s father. With the loan from SOS Children, I have been able to open a small clothes shop in the city. I have a steady income and even rent a house for me and my son.”

Across the world, SOS Children are working to empower single mothers to care for their children and play an active role in their communities. Find our more about our Family Strengthening Programmes.