Sponsor a child in Somalia
Somalia is one of the most unstable and dangerous countries in the world. When the majority of international relief organisations left Somalia, SOS Children's Villages remained in the country to help the most vulnerable members of Somali society.
With SOS Children's Villages, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Somalia by sponsoring a child:
A precarious society
Somalia’s extreme violence in recent years has led to millions of civilians being displaced; as of December 2014, there were 1.1million people had been forced to flee from their homes.
Around 85% of the population of Somalia live in poverty and life expectancy is only 50 years. Most Somalians have no consistent access to clean water, food and sanitation. The threat of significant food shortages in 2015 is very real, with international aid agencies warning of further suffering to come. HIV is a major health problem, as are other diseases including cholera and hepatitis. However, healthcare has been improving and an effort to eradicate polio is succeeding. Over a third of the population of Somalia have never attended school.
Children in Somalia
- Children are recruited as child soldiers in the ongoing civil war. Many more experience violence in their daily lives.
- The country has one of the lowest school enrolment rates in the world with children attending school for just 1.8 years on average.
- Somalia also has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates, at 105 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Our work in Somalia
We opened our Children's Village in Mogadishu in 1985, about five miles from the city centre. We provide care for over 100 children in loving SOS families, under the care of an SOS mother. After starting their education in our SOS Nursery, the children move next door to the SOS school, which offers 560 places to youngsters from the Village and the surrounding community.
An SOS vocational training centre and workshop provide learning opportunites and nationally recognised qualifications for young people preparing for the world of work. As they complete secondary education, teenagers move on to the SOS youth home, where our specially trained staff help them learn adjust to the responsibilities of adult life. Also at the Village is an SOS mother and child clinic, which offers care to the whole community. At the clinic, we offer care to 30,000 patients a year – around 14 babies are born here every day!
Providing care amid conflict
Since 1985, we have been a permanent presence in Mogadishu, continuing our work despite temporary closures to the Children's Village. We have worked with with UN agencies, international NGOs, local authorities and community elders and leaders to make our impact as wide as possible, and are able to deliver effective support thanks to our partnerships with with ECHO (EU Humanitarian Office), UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme.
For many years SOS Children's Villages was one of very few international relief organizations that was active in the south of the country. Clans and warlords controlled Mogadishu and many parts of the country for a long time. During the first half of 2006, the Islamic Court Union fought them and expelled the warlords from Mogadishu. War erupted later that year. Since then the fighting has badly affected SOS families and staff. Several colleagues and one former SOS child died after being hit with stray bullets and mortars. The SOS Children’s Village was even occupied by soldiers for a few days.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Somalia: Ayanna's Story
When the civil war broke out in Somalia in early 1991, Ayanna's orphanage collapsed. With few clothes, little food and no one to look after her, she quickly became ill.
Soon afterwards, Ayanna came to live at our Children's Village in Mogadishu. She started studying at the SOS school the following year. Ayanna had received very little education at the orphanage where she spent her early years. But with our support, she completed primary school, and later went on to study basic computer skills and business studies at a training centre.
In January 2004, she began a job in the outpatient department of the SOS mother and child clinic. By 2007, she was married and ready to begin a family. But with the war in full swing as she carried her first child, the drama was far from over for Ayanna.
As heavy fighting raged, Ayanna went into labour. She got through the roadblocks to reach the SOS clinic, 24 hours into an obstructed labour. Her friends at the clinic rushed her into surgery for an emergency caesarean. Today, she thanks SOS Children's Villages not just for caring for her when she was all alone, but also for saving the life of her baby daughter.
If you are inspired by Ayanna's story, please sponsor a Somalian child today.
SOS Somalia National Office
Buruburu phase 1
Tel: +254 72 8888 132, +254 77 1785 244
Fax: +254 20 789744