SOS Children in Niger
We have been helping children in Niger since the 1980s. Niger is a desperately poor country frequently hit by catastrophic droughts. We help children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care, ensuring they get the food, water and care needed to grow up with a normal childhood.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Niger by sponsoring a child:
Millions in Niger face a life of extreme poverty
Life expectancy in Niger is low at 52 years. When droughts and famines come, such as in the last few years, malnourishment is a very real issue for millions. Over 50% of Niger’s rural population have no access to safe water, and only 4% have access to decent sanitation facilities.
Children in Niger
- Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world. There are on average 7.6 children born per woman. It is perhaps no surprise that many children are born undernourished and grow up underweight. 970,000 children in Niger are orphans. The under-five mortality rate in the country is one of the highest in the world. In the regions of Maradi and Zinder, approximately 114 out of every 1,000 children die before they are five.
- Child labour is common in Niger. Children can work in mining, for materials like uranium and tin, in dangerous conditions. Other children work in stone quarries, where risks can be very high. Because of the need to work, many children miss out on education and so generations can get trapped in the same cycle of work and poverty.
Our charity work in Niger
With the breakdown of the traditional family structure, SOS Children's Villages began in 1990 to work with the government of Niger to establish the first SOS Children's Village in the outskirts of the capital, Niamey. The village opened in 1993 and consists of 10 family houses which are home to 120 children. In addition there is a SOS Nursery and a SOS Primary School, providing an education for children from the local community as well as the children of the SOS Children's Village. Today about 80 percent of the schoolchildren are from the local area. After the first children had outgrown the SOS Children's Village, in 2000 SOS Children decided to rent Youth Homes for the older children close to the village. Here the young people are supported by qualified youth leaders who guide them on their way to becoming independent.
As part of its commitment to strengthening vulnerable families, SOS Children's Villages in Niger has established a Social Centre in Niamey which supports families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. An Family Strengthening Programme for needy families with a focus on awareness and counselling has been operating since 2005. The aim of the programme is to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their family to grow within a caring family environment. To achieve this, SOS Children’s Villages Niger works directly with families and communities to empower them to effectively protect and care for their children, in cooperation with local authorities and other service providers.
Over the years, SOS Children's Villages Niger became aware of the dreadful situation of children in the hinterland of Niger. In March 2001, SOS Children decided to set up a second SOS Children's Village in Tahoua, approx. 550 km to the north-east from Niamey. Opened in 2008, the village has 12 family houses which provide a new home for up to 120 children. A SOS Nursery and a SOS School in the village provide an education for both the children in the village and those in the surrounding community. An SOS Medical Centre has multiple treatment rooms with a small pharmacy, providing outpatient medical care for the local community. The centre here treats up to 1,500 patients each year.
In January 2012, an Emergency Relief Programme was set up in Tahoua to help relieve the suffering caused by the long term famine in Niger. About 7,000 children, many of them orphans, benefit from the distribution of food supplies and the medical treatment of conditions caused by malnourishment.
Opened in 2010, SOS Children’s Villages Dosso is approximately 150 km south east of the capital, Niamey. The area is characterised by a significant number of economic emigrants going to work in other African countries. These emigrants, however, often return HIV positive and consequently the HIV infection rate in this region is very high. The number of orphans who have lost their parents due to this pandemic is high and growing fast. The village is made up of 10 family houses for 120 children. There is also an SOS Nursery, SOS School and SOS Medical Centre.
Feedback from the Emergency Relief Programme in Tahoua, Niger
Mariama, widow, mother of seven children:
"If this programme didn't exist, things would have been very difficult for me. My husband died five years ago. Since that time, I have to take care of the children alone. I am responsible for their food, their health and their schooling. Only three of them are still attending school because I cannot afford more without support.
The food I received relieved our distress a lot. Every day, there's enough to eat for my children and me in the morning, at noon and in the evening. I still have supplies of rice and sorghum which can last for at least two months.
This food gave me confidence and the joy of living. You know, usually when people eat well in a house, everybody is happy and positive. This is what is happening to us at the moment. Many thanks to SOS Children's Villages for giving us the support we needed in this very difficult period!"
Fatima, 15 years old and mother of a little girl:
"I am not married and I have a child. This is not accepted in our society. When it happens to you, even your own family rejects you. You don't get any support at all. I have to manage our survival alone.
I received bags of rice and sorghum, boxes of milk and jerry cans of oil, as well as drugs for my child who was ill. This helped me more than I can express. I needed it urgently. You can't imagine how helpful the food was for me. Sometimes, the relief team members visited me to check if things are running well with the programme, which comforted me a lot.
Since August, I have monthly rations of food which is sufficient for us. I am very grateful for everything that has been done by SOS Children's Villages here in Tahoua."
Hapsatou, married and mother of six children:
"When I heard about foodstuff distributions, I didn't believe it first. I believed it the day I received a bag of 50 kg of rice, a bag of 100 kg of sorghum, a jerry can of oil and boxes of milk.
To tell the truth, it was like a dream and the most important thing was that we had all that food free of charge. I was wondering what was happening when I saw my kitchen with so much food, knowing that I can easily spend at least two days without nothing to eat.
This is the first time we receive so much food from a humanitarian organisation here. How I wish this continued until the food situation is stable again! There is nothing else I can say, I am so happy".
SOS Villages d'Enfants Niger
Tel: +227/20 752672, +227/20 752898
Fax: +227/20 752545