Sponsor a child in Liberia
Liberia is one of Africa’s poorest countries. Poverty is rife and society scarred by two civil wars. Mass unemployment blights the nation, and poor infrastructure makes everyday life a struggle. The Ebola crisis has hit healthcare services and left communities in tatters.
You can bring hope to a Liberia child by sponsoring online today:
A nation ravaged by conflict
Liberia's two successive civil wars destroyed the country's infrastructure and exacerbated crippling poverty among Liberia's population. In the countryside, 93% drink water from untreated sources, such as rivers, swamps and latrines, and thousands lack access to water altogether. Nearly a third don't have enough to eat. In 2014, Liberia's fragile health services were left buckling under the pressure of the nation's first Ebola outbreak. The disease killed health professionals and drew resources away from other healthcare challenges.
340,000 orphans grow up alone
During the war, young people were worst affected and thousands were recruited as child soldiers.
- Liberia is home to 340,000 orphans, largely due to the war.
- Many schools were destroyed during the war and never rebuilt. The average Liberian receives less than four years of schooling, and illiteracy among over-15s is nearly half.
- Although the current government is attempting to revive the education system, many schools still struggle to admit all the children in their community.
- Many families do not have enough to eat and one in five Liberian children is underweight.
Our Work in Liberia
We began caring for Liberian children in 1981. Today, we offer a loving home to the most vulnerable in the capital Monrovia and Juah Town. We are constructing a third Village in the northern town of Sinje.
Monrovia Village provides a loving home for almost 150 children who cannot live with their parents. Our SOS school offers primary and secondary education to children from the Village and the surrounding community. An SOS nursery offers daycare for over 100 local children so parents can go out and work. Our youth home provides a stepping stone to independent adult life for children from the Village.
The Children's Village in Juah Town, Bassah county provides care in six SOS families. We originally operated a school and nursery here, but the war forced us to close it.
Providing emergency relief
In 2003, we provided food, shelter and medical care for more than 7,000 refugees forced from home by war. In 2014-15, we are supporting children orphaned by Ebola, who face marginalisation and stigma and are being shunned by their communities.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Liberia
31-year-old Janyea proudly says she's a former SOS child from Liberia. After a struggling start in life, SOS Children's Villages Liberia gave her the opportunities and care every child deserves. Today, she's a newly married, happy and active woman.
“I was born on 26 July 1979. My father died in 1980 and left my mother with nine children. She was just a house wife and couldn't afford to take care of us, so she asked our uncles and aunts to help her take care for us and that's how we were divided. One of my sisters and I moved in with our aunt to Nimba County, another county of Liberia.
When we got to Nimba, our aunt managed to register us in school but it was not easy: we used to walk long distances to get to school and had no lunch on our way back because she couldn’t afford it. There came a time we had to drop from school because she could no longer afford to pay our tuition.
One day in 1986, as we were playing in front of our house, we saw an SOS Children's Village vehicle stopping by with some people in it. They got down and asked us why we were not in school and with whom we were living. I told them my aunt's name and mentioned the place where she worked and they left.
A week after, the SOS vehicle was back to pick us up and take us to our new home. Our aunt had packed our few clothes and offered us a prayer. I was so happy because things were not easy for us at our aunt's place.
We came to the SOS Children’s Village of Monrovia in November 1986 and were introduced to our new SOS mother, brothers and sisters. We were ten children in our house. I remember being so happy arriving in the village, seeing the playground area and the toys in the house. I was eating three times a day; I was going to school and received lots of good things.
I graduated from high school on 24 July 2000 and was admitted at Cuttington University the same year as a boarding student, to study public administration [my major] and management. By 2004, I was the proud holder of a B.Sc degree in public administration and had, in the meantime, met on campus my husband to be, Gabriel!
I then started to work for SOS Children's Villages Liberia as a bookkeeper. That was in 2005. I've recently married and must say it was one of the most memorable days of my life! It was so emotional to have my father (Mr. James Ponpon, the director of SOS Children's Village Monrovia) bringing me to my husband to be in the church and seeing all the SOS mothers and 'aunties' spreading their lappers [pieces of traditional cloth] on the floor for me to walk on as it is the tradition here, as well as seeing all other SOS employees dancing and congratulating me. I was so excited and felt proud to be part of such a big family!
SOS Children's Villages Liberia has played a very important part in my life in so many ways. They gave me good home, love, care and security; they gave me a very good education and also made me an independent person in the society. I can also say SOS is the one that gave me a husband because they are the one who prepared me to be who I am today. Those qualities that SOS Children's Villages Liberia put in me is what my husband saw and what decided him to take me as his wife. Now I am married, educated, and working for SOS Children's Villages Liberia as the 'Resettled Youth Educator'. Twenty-five years ago, I would never even though that this would be possible!”
SOS Children's Villages of Liberia
PO Box 1924
Tel: +231/886514878, +231/886514879