Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, has a population of more than 800,000. Many children in the country suffer as a result of poor medical treatment and legal care. Immunisations are not widely available, and a shortage of clean water leads to poor hygiene conditions. Many children do not survive. The country has also been badly affected by the current drought and famine which has been devastating East Africa.
Located in the north-east of the country, the town of Tadjourah is home to a large number of children who are growing up alone. Their vulnerable status means they can fall victim to child prostitution or trafficking, greatly increasing their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS.
In April 2010, SOS Children decided to build a new SOS Children’s Village, a Nursery and a Family Strengthening Programme in Tadjourah.
SOS Children’s Village Tadjourah
A new SOS Children’s Village is currently being constructed and is due to open in March 2013. The Village will provide a new home, a mother and a family for children who have no one else to care for them. In total, 100 children will find new SOS families during the first two years of the Village opening. A large playground and a multi-purpose concrete sportsfield for children and young people will also be close to the site, and open to children from the community as well as the Children’s Village. This will help to integrate the Children’s Village into the community, whilst providing children with the opportunity to learn a sport and play together. Young people from the local area will be consulted to ensure that the new play and sports facilities meet their needs.
SOS Family Strengthening Programme
The Family Strengthening Programme in Tadjourah is currently being organised, and is due to begin in October 2012. SOS Children believe that it is where possible, children should grow up in their biological families, and the programme aims to empower parents to care for their children. The programme will identify the most vulnerable children and protect them from losing the care of their families.
An SOS Nursery is currently being built and will open in March 2013, alongside the Children’s Village. The Nusery will be open to both children from the Village and the community, and provide quality early childhood education for children who would otherwise not have been able to access it. The nursery will also provide nutritious meals, basic medical treatment, early childhood education services.