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Central African Republic
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The charity began its work in Central African Republic (CAR) in 1992 with the opening of the first SOS Children's Village in Bangui. SOS Children's Villages runs a HIV prevention programme through its school and the Medical and Social centres in Bangui, and helps nearly 6,000 orphaned children. … more about our charity work in Central African Republic

Update from CAR: Despite continued violence, SOS Villages are safe

Many families are seeking refuge in SOS Children's Village Bangui
Many families are seeking refuge in SOS Children's Village Bangui

Across Central African Republic, chaos and violence continue to afflict the population. Aid agencies have reported that sporadic killings have occurred in the past few days – affecting both sides of the conflict. Fortunately, everyone at the SOS Children's Villages are safe.

Since March 2013, violence has escalated across Central African Republic (CAR). Seleka rebel groups, who were formerly aligned with the president, have attacked communities. In retaliation, Anti-Balaka militias have fought back, leading to violent clashes.

Increasingly the conflict is sectarian in nature. Seleka groups have a Muslim identity, while Anti-Balaka groups are predominantly Christian. Many international organisations have warned of the escalating humanitarian crisis.

There are two SOS Children’s Villages in CAR, in Bangui and Bouar. Our colleagues on the ground have reported that although signs of the conflict can be heard and seen, the situation within SOS Children’s Villages remains relatively stable and all children are safe.

Current situation in Bangui

SOS Children is carrying out life-saving activities in the capital city, Bangui. Approximately 4000 internally displaced people are being provided with refuge, shelter and medical treatment in the Children’s Village in Bangui. Working in partnership with the World Food Programme, SOS Children is delivering them food. However, there is a shortage of water and sanitation facilities, which we are striving to address.

children outside SOS school CAR Bangui

Last week an SOS co-worker in Bangui was attacked by Anti-Balaka forces. He sought refuge in the Children’s Village and was protected by soldiers from the Multinational Force of Africa (FOMAC). These soldiers are from the African Union peace mission, and are a welcome presence to the SOS families.

Current situation in Bouar

In Bouar, there are sporadic clashes between Seleka and Anti-Balaka groups, who have also vandalised shops. The Children’s Village in Bouar is safe, protected by a fence, and currently guarded by 14 soldiers from the AU peace mission.

As the Children’s Village is on the outskirts of the city centre, there are not many internally displaced people that are seeking refuge there.The SOS Medical Centre has stored food, water and fuel, and is preparing to support local families.

Apart from the Medical Centres in Bangui and Bouar, all other activities in the country have been suspended and staff who are not needed for the emergency programme have been told to stay at home. SOS Children is working closely with UNICEF, WHO and WFP to protect children in the affected regions.

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