Juah Town is about 25m from Buchanan, Liberia's third-largest city. Poor healthcare means children are at risk from preventable or treatable diseases.
Ebola has added to the strain, swamping health services and leaving many children orphaned.
Poor healthcare leaves children at risk
The two civil wars left infrastructure in tatters. Healthcare was one such casualty. Families are at high risk of waterborne diseases, as well as malaria, diarrhoea and typhoid fever. Thousands still die from malaria while 20% of children’s deaths from sickness are preventable.
Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Many women decide not to seek health care during and after pregnancy because of the long lines in the public health centres. Although they may not know it, their actions eventually affect the health of their children.
Liberia suffered terribly during the recent Ebola epidemic. Our priority was to keep our children safe. Throughout the affected region, we followed strict hygiene measures and limited traffic in and out of our Villages to prevent the spread of the virus.
Limited opportunities force children into work
Education was another casualty of war. Many schools were destroyed in the fighting. A 2008 UNICEF report stated that a third of primary school-age children were not attending school. Currently, the literacy rate among women and girls is 81%, seriously restricting opportunity among the most vulnerable.
90% of the population lives below the poverty line and 85% are unemployed. In order to survive, many women and children are forced into domestic servitude, street-vending, prostitution and forced labour. Liberia is a transit point for illicit drugs, arms-dealing, money laundering, and illegal diamond trading.
SOS Children in Juah Town
A troubled start
Juah Town was one of the refugee areas during the 20 years of civil war. When we opened our Children’s Village in 1989, it acted as a refugee site immediately. Soon after, the military seized control of the Village.
Only after 11 years was the Village was renovated and the first batch of Juah Town children able to move in. Unfortunately, further violence forced the Village to shut down in 2003 and the children were moved to the Village in Monrovia. Although the conflict ended in 2003, 80% of the country remained in rebel hands. However, after democratic elections in 2005, the Village was again able to admit children.
Caring for the most vulnerable and supporting the community
Today, the Village is thriving and caring for over 100 children. We provide quality education at our primary and secondary schools, which they attend alongside local children.
Our community outreach work offers support and services to local families. Our SOS social centre provides daycare for young children, so that parents can go out and work.
Child sponsors provide a secure, nurturing home for Juah Town's most vulnerable children. You can help change a child's life by sponsoring today.