The coastal nation of Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony in Africa, consists of ten islands and five small islets. On the island of São Tiago sits the nation's capital, Praia. Just outside the city is São Domingos, the home of an SOS Children's Village.
The Cape Verdean government has made efforts to combat the lack of education in the country. However enrolment in some areas - mostly rural ones, where public schools are scarce - remains low.
Children missing out on school
The government has sworn to make efforts to guarantee universal education in Cape Verde but many children cannot go to school. Despite economic progress, many children in Praia and Mindelo, Cape Verde's major urban centres, face a life on the streets. Many must resort to dangerous or random jobs. They might have to haul cargo, wash cars or even turn to petty theft just to survive.
Poverty in Praia is harder to see than in some other African capitals but still it remains. A significant number of Cape Verdeans live in unstable socio-economic conditions and in recent years, social class distinction has grown rapidly. The affluent minority of Praia live in older sections of the city, whilst the majority of the population live in less stable neighbourhoods and slums on the fringes of the city.
What do we do in São Domingos?
SOS Children came to São Domingos in 2003, and our Children's Village there rests just outside the nation's capital. It is well-integrated with the surrounding community.
From our Children's Village, we run community outreach programmes to support local families in need. Theses include comprehensive and sustainable services, including financial and emotional support for struggling households. There is also an SOS nursery where parents may leave their children in safe hands for the day.
New family life for orphans
When a child has lost parental care, they can move into the Children's Village and become part of an SOS family. Here they grow up in a loving home with SOS brothers and sisters, under the care of an SOS Mother.
Once they grow old enough, the SOS youth programme serves to prepare these children for a bright future. Qualified professionals offer education and training in technical vocational skills, encouraging a sense of team spirit, and preparing the growing adults for an independent and empowered life.
Growing up in the beauty of the Cape Verde islands, children often do not have the best chance in life. The most vulnerable are given hope in our Children's Village. Will you sponsor one of these children today?