SOS Children in Guinea-Bissau
Once praised as a role model for development in Africa, Guinea-Bissau is now one of the poorest countries in the world. However, democracy is on the rise, and progress has been made to improve the quality of life for Guineans.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Guinea-Bissau by sponsoring a child:Sponsor a child in Guinea-Bissau
Politics, drug cartels and drug trafficking
Since independence, rebellion has brought about frequent regime change in Guinea-Bissau. Today's government was formed in the wake of a coup in 2012, and elections are set to follow in the near future. However, military intervention and the drug trade has weakened the authority of elected officials, and Guinea-Bissau has become a major hub for drug cartels. Drug trafficking has become an economic factor which is difficult to ignore.
High infant mortality, preventable child deaths and widespread violence
- Infant mortality is extremely high at 193 per 1,000 live births.
- Malnutrition afflicts around a fifth of children and a quarter are underweight at birth.
- Due to poor sanitation, many children die from preventable, curable diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
- Nearly half of all Guinean children aged between five and 14 regularly work in labour-intensive agricultural jobs. During the cashew harvest, many are taken out of school to help.
- Child prostitution is on the rise – girls are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation.
- Violence against girls is widespread, and many are forced into early marriage.
- About 110,000 children have lost one or both of their parents. As a result many children leave education to care for their families.
Our Work in Guinea-Bissau
SOS Children began working in Guinea-Bissau in 1994 with the opening of an SOS Children's Village, an SOS Nursery and Primary School in the capital city, Bissau, on land donated by the government.
In 1998, fighting in the vicinity meant the village had to be evacuated to our Village in Bakoteh in The Gambia where they stayed for almost a year, before being able to return to Bissau.
We opened a second community in Gabu, a small provincial town about 200km east of Bissau, in 2001. The Village has twelve family houses along with a nursery and a primary school for the community which were built at the same time.
Canchungo is located in the western Cacheu Region of Guinea-Bissau. SOS Children's Village Canchungo consists of 12 family houses. Since the water supply of the people living next to the SOS Children's Village was also insufficient, a well was built on the premises of the SOS Children's Village which is connected to the public water supply system. Hundreds of people enjoy drinking water on a daily basis.There is also an SOS Nursery and a primary school.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Guinea-Bissau
Mariana is the SOS mother of nine children. The family lives in SOS Children's Village Bissau, in Guinea-Bissau. Like in any big family, organisation is key. Everyone helps, everyone shares and from their youngest age, children are trained to be efficient and organized team players! Here's a little insight on how the family life 'works'.
Mariana gives a particular attention to ensure her family house is clean and tidy. She was raised like this and raises her nine children in the same spirit! "Hygiene is essential to the healthy growth of my children", she explains. "Our family works as a team, where everyone is assigned specific daily tasks to make sure we all live in a clean and healthy environment", she adds. No crumbs on the floor. That's the rule! And as a result, all of Mariana's children, except the three-year-old twins Silvano and Silvino, are experts in hygiene and masters in handling brooms and dusters.
"From sweeping the floor, to watering the garden, cooking or setting up the table, we all help our mother", explains 16-year-old Dulce. "And by being well organised and doing this all together, we can more quickly go and play with our friends!", she adds.
Fundação das Aldeias de Crianças SOS da Guiné-Bissau
Tel: +245/67 77 778