Sponsor a child in Guinea
Despite Guinea's mineral wealth, its people are among Africa's poorest. 82% live in poverty, lacking clean water and adequate healthcare, and Ebola has put extra strain public services. Amid such uncertainty, our supporters are providing a better future for Guinea's children.
You can help give a better life to Guinea's most vulnerable children by sponsoring online today:
Progress stalled by widespread poverty
Only 29% of adults in Guinea know how to read and write. Less than half the population benefits from schooling, which means that the majority of young Guineans never get to see a classroom. In 2014, Guinea was the first country to be hit by the world's largest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
Poor healthcare leaves the young vulnerable
Of every 1,000 babies born, 61 die in their first born.
- Treatable diseases such as measles and malaria kill many children. Polio has also returned to Guinea.
- The Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015 left thousands of children alone. Fear of infection meant that many were shunned.
- 40% of children suffer from malnutrition and 26% are underweight.
- 440,000 children are growing up without their parents, 59,000 because of HIV/AIDS, which remain a major public health concern.
Our work in Guinea
We began work in Guinea in 1989, when our first Village opened in the capital, Conakry. Today, we work in three locations across the city.
In 1985, we were given a plot of land in the village of Sinfonia, about 25 km east of the capital Conakry, to build a community, a nursery and a primary school. The SOS Children's Village Conakry opened in 1989 with eleven family houses. The school and the nursery became operational a year later, taking in children from the neighbourhood as well as the SOS children. In 1995, an SOS Youth Home was established in Conakry for the older children on the verge of leaving the village.
We built our second SOS Children's Village in Guinea in N’Zérékoré in the south-eastern corner of the country in 2001. About 5 km outside the town, it has ten family houses as well as a nursery and a primary school, both of which are attended by local children.
Over the years, SOS Children has carried out various community outreach programmes, including the provision of shelter and food for children and staff evacuated from our community in neighbouring Guinea-Bissau.
A third Village, together with a nursery and a primary school, opened in Kankan, the country's second biggest city, approximately 520 km east of Conakry in 2005. It has twelve family houses which are home to 120 children.
Life in SOS Villages Guinea
Who is the children's favourite pop star?
At SOS Children's Village Conakry, in Guinea, the children are only allowed to watch TV at the weekend and during the holidays. Everyone gathers in the TV room to watch cartoons, music videos, and the SOS mothers also join the younger ones in the evenings to watch their favourite Brazilian soap opera and to listen to the latest news. It was on TV that the children first saw the well-known international pop singer Shakira.
Ever since then, the village has had an amazing number of mini Shakiras! Not only do the children love her songs, but they are also love the way she dances. Both girls and boys try to dance and move like her.
As 16-year-old Marie explains: “Shakira's way of dancing and the way she moves her hips is amazing! My older sister Salimatou, who is 17, is an expert. She is good at copying her dances and also teaches us how to do them," she adds. "Every Saturday night, from 8 to 10 pm, we put on music for people to dance to. Even the little ones join in and copy the older ones!”
Ten-year old Ousmane is one of the best male dancers. And he is very proud to be able to show that he can shake his hips like Shakira.
Marie explains that the older children have even been organising dance competitions for the younger ones every Saturday for the past year. Two family houses are selected to compete against each other. Each house selects its own 'Shakira', who will have to perform one of Shakira's songs. Then the children from the two houses dance to Guinean music.
Ten-year-old Esther still holds the title of the 'Best Shakira Dancer', but every weekend (apart from during the exam periods when everyone stays at home to study) she has to defend her title.
*names have been changed to protect privacy
Association du Villages d’Enfants SOS de Guinée,
Tel: +224 664402273 0