SOS Children in Cameroon
Our charity has been working in Cameroon since the 1990s. Cameroon faces many challenges, despite encouraging development figures in recent years. Poverty in rural areas remains a big problem. We help children in two locations in Cameroon, ensuring that as many children get the care of a mother and family as we can support.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Cameroon by sponsoring a child:
Persistent rural poverty
Around 55% of Cameroon’s population live in poverty. In rural areas, medical infrastructure can be unaffordable or even non-existent. The lack of resources can lead to devastating effects, such as an outbreak of cholera in 2010 which affected over 5,000 and killed nearly 400. Safe drinking water is only available to about half of the rural population. Poor education, lack of employment opportunities and illiteracy also remain issues that need to be addressed.
Children in Cameroon
- Children and women bear the brunt of extreme poverty in Cameroon. Around one in four children is underweight. 1 in 10 children under the age of five die each year.
- Over 50,000 children live with HIV/AIDS and approximately 340,000 have lost their parents due to the disease.
- Malaria is still a huge issue for Cameroon; the disease is still responsible for about three in every ten child deaths under the age of five. Increased resources and investments in campaigns mean the government hopes to reduce this figure in the future.
Our charity work in Cameroon
In January 1990 an agreement was signed between SOS Children and the government of Cameroon to construct an SOS Children's Village near the capital, Yaoundé, in the small town of Mbalmayo. The village opened in 1998. We established an SOS Nursery and an SOS Primary School on the site in response to the high rate of illiteracy in the area.
SOS Children's Village Mbalmayo is 45 km from Yaoundé in a small village called Ngallan. The Village has eleven family houses and is home to up to 110 children. The SOS Nursery has room for 150 children and over 400 pupils, mostly from the local community, attending the twelve-classroom primary school. There are two sports grounds and a number of training workshops.
Further community aid for the local population is provided by the SOS Medical Centre in the Village which treats 300 patients a month, offering general medical care and preventative health counselling.
SOS Children's Village Doula was built on a seven-hectare plot of land that had been made available by the authorities and is situated on the road linking the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. With its twelve family houses with a capacity of 120 children, the Village opened its doors in 2007. An SOS Nursery and SOS Primary School are on the same site.
Life in SOS Villages Cameroon: My first day back at school
Fabrice is nine years old; he lives at SOS Children's Village Mbalmayo in Cameroon. He is in the third year of primary school. He started back at school on 7 September 2009 and told us about his first day.
"I woke up at 5am. The waking up was not difficult, because I was happy to go back to school and meet new friends. I brushed my teeth, took a bath and wore my new school uniform. I had breakfast before going to school. It was bread, butter and pap. I was so happy to go back to school that I packed my school stationeries four days before the classes reopened. Everybody helped me to pack my school bag. My mother, my sisters and my brothers were packing my bag. It was so funny.
I left the house with my brothers around 7:20 am for school. We went by foot, because the school is not far from our house. We entered the classroom at 7:30 am, together with the class teacher. The first lesson was based on school rules. The teacher told us about our duties and our obligations at school. I like this first lesson and I find it interesting. The teacher told us that it is forbidden to come to school with dangerous objects like knives, matches, scissors and many other sharp objects. We went on recreation at 10 am. I had bread and butter for this small break.
The day ended at 2:30 pm. We had a total of three lessons on this first school day. The ambiance at school was quite good, even though one of my classmates cried because she broke her pencil sharpener. We laughed at her, but she did not know that we were laughing. I was very happy to go to school again and meet the teacher whom I already knew and who taught us so many things.
I went directly home after the classes. There was nobody at home. My brothers and sisters were still at school, and our SOS mother was out for some shopping. When our mother came back shortly afterwards, she was happy to meet me again. She hugged me and asked me several questions like how I spent the day? Like if I had new friends? Like if I liked the classes?
I liked the day a lot. I met several children who are not from the village and we are already friends. The most remarkable thing which pleased me is my new school uniform. I thought that only pupils from secondary school wear school uniforms. I did not know that even those from primary school have school uniforms.
I promise to work hard because after my studies, I would like to be a footballer or a policeman."
*name has been changed to protect privacy
Villages d'Enfants SOS CamerounB. P. 12196
Tel: +237/22 21 27 26
Fax: +237/22 21 27 24