N'Zérékoré is Guinea's second largest city near the southern border with Liberia, in the so-called Sahel zone.
N'Zérékoré has taken in thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries. Newcomers compete with local inhabitants for scarce resources such as food, water and other basic necessities, exacerbating poverty for all.
Drought and famine in an unpredictable climate
The city's population has almost tripled since 1996. In part, this is due to rural migrants, but largely down to an influx of refugees from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire. Such large-scale immigration puts added pressure on a country already suffering from high poverty and insufficient water, food, sanitation, education and healthcare.
Thousands of children are sold and trafficked each year. Many flee their abuse at home and come search for work elsewhere. Many seek to send money home as remittances to their families but are very vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse. Most migrant children do not get quality education, impacting on their prospects in later life.
The Sahel zone is susceptible to regular drought, and the unpredictability of the rains causes food insecurity. Guinea imports most of its rice so is susceptible to global food prices. This can cause malnutrition, with irreversible effects on their physical and cognitive development. Around 40% of children in Guinea suffer from stunting.
What we do in N'Zérékoré
We have worked in N'Zérékoré since 2001, providing care for vulnerable children and supporting fragile families in the community. We help around 500 families in the city, ensuring they get adequate food, regular healthcare, decent education and parenting support.
We help parents improve their employment prospects and enter higher-earning jobs and so that can support their children. Our SOS nursery and school provide education to 700 children from the local community as well as the Children's Village itself.
Loving family homes for vulnerable children
For children who can no longer live with their parents we offer a new home within an SOS family at the Children's Village. Here, they live in a family environment in the care of an SOS mother.
As they approach independence, our young people embark on the SOS youth programme. While living in shared accommodation with children their own age. Living in shared, supported accommodation they are able to attend vocational training and are guided into early adulthood by qualified youth counsellors.
The safety of the children in our care was our priority throughout the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak. We closed our schools to reduce the spread of infection, providing education within the Children's Village.
Children with nothing and no one can find a loving home and a family for life at N'Zérékoré Village. You can help a child begin their journey by sponsoring today.