The city of Jos is located in Plateau state in Nigeria's “Middle Belt,” and is home to around 900,000 people. It is an important city both for tourism and commerce, with its famous tin mines drawing people from across the nation.
Migration has made Jos ethnically diverse, and its central location means that it lies on a significant religious faultline between the Muslim north and the Christian south.
Religious violence threatens the security of thousands
Christians and Muslims have traditionally pursued different trades, with the former engaging largely in farming, and the latter in cattle herding. However, the two have long since competed for land.
Violent confrontations between Muslims and Christians have become common over the last decade, with riots erupting in 2001, 2008 and again in 2010. Not only have more than 2,000 people been killed in these riots; around 5,000 have been forced from their homes by the fighting.
Religion is only one manifestation of other underlying tensions, including social and economic factors. Increased tin mining has threatened the region's traditional lifestyle and farmers want more concrete land rights. Many people also feel excluded from the nation's oil wealth.
Poverty-stricken children face food insecurity and malnutrition
Nigeria faces many complex and interwoven socio-economic problems. However, mismanagement of oil revenues by the elite correlates starkly with the growing troubles of the nation's poor.
Malnutrition in Nigeria is among the highest on the continent. Food insecurity is a particular threat to children who have lost their parents, as well as those whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS. Though the government has acted to improve welfare, thousands of families remain in need.
What are we doing to help?
SOS Children has been working in Jos since 2011. As always, we provide long-term care to children who are unable to grow up with their families. For these children, we find a loving home with an SOS family in our Children's Village.
As they grow up, children from our Village enjoy quality education alongside children from the neighbourhood. They begin their educational journey at our nursery - which also runs a special class for children with learning difficulties - before progressing up to complete primary education at our SOS school.
Caring for the whole community
A large part of our work in Jos involves the tailored support we provide to fragile families in the community. Our SOS Social Centre is the hub of our community work; providing healthcare and nutritional support to families who would otherwise go without.
We also make sure children get a decent education, providing families with the support they need to send their children to school. We also help families live with the effects of HIV/AIDS, providing support to help them keep up with rent payment or school fees.
Our work in Jos ensures children with no one else get the care they need, and helps build strong families in the community. You can make a difference by supporting our work.