Kita is situated in south-western Mali, in the Kayes region, and has a population of around 50,000 people. The area is mainly agricultural and Kita is also home to an important food processing industry.
However, it is also one of the driest regions in Mali, so food is not always easy to come by and child malnutrition remains high. Though it was far from the fighting, the region was still deeply affected by a recent conflict in the north of the country.
The effects of conflict
March 2012 saw a military coup oust then-president Amadou Touré and install a new premier in his place. At the same time different rebel groups in Mali's north were fighting a bitter conflict for control of the region.
The conflict forced hundreds of thousands of Malians to flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere in the country. Many of these people fled to Kita and the surrounding areas, and were in urgent need of assistance once they got there.
Evacuated Children's Villages
SOS Children's Village Socoura, which was near the city of Mopti in north Mali, was at the heart of the fighting in 2012. It was vital that the 140 children and staff there were evacuated for their own safety.
Many of these children were moved to the Children's Village in Kita, where they joined existing SOS families and went to the local SOS school. In July 2013 they were able to return to Socoura.
What are we doing for families and children in Kita?
We opened the SOS Children's Village Kita in 2009, and since then we have worked to give every child in the area the opportunities they deserve. We have sometimes had to deal with unexpected emergencies, but have always remained committed to this core goal.
Our community work in Kita ensures that families can offer their children the support they need to thrive. Our services fulfill children's educational, nutritional and healthcare needs.
We also offer support to parents, such as skills training, literacy programmes and counselling, in order to help them provide for their children. We collaborate closely with local organisations so that we can reach as many struggling families as possible.
Children who can no longer live with their parents are able to find a nurturing home in an SOS family. These children live with their SOS mother in our Children's Village in Kita, forming strong ties with their family and others in the Village.
They are educated alongside children from the local area in the SOS nursery and SOS primary and secondary schools. This shared experience helps them integrate and establish relationships beyond the Village – an important step in healthy development.
Stability during turbulent times
Throughout the conflict in 2012, all three of our SOS schools in Mali stayed open and took in additional students fleeing the fighting. This provided stability in the disrupted lives of these children, and ensured they did not miss out on their education.
Our presence in Kita ensures children don't miss out on the key features of a happy childhood – from education and healthcare to stability and friendship. Please help. Sponsor a child.