March 20 2006
IMF Director visits SOS Children's Village in Equatorial Guinea
16/03/2006 - Rodrigo de Rato, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the SOS Children's Village in Bata following the summit meeting of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). His focused discussions on economic growth and poverty reduction in the region were complemented by his visit with SOS children, their devoted caregivers as well as school facilities.
After his visit to the SOS Children's Village, Mr. de Rato commented, "There are many things to be praised regarding the work of these Villages around the world. However, the most remarkable characteristic is that they provide a family-based care environment for children who have lost their parents or who are no longer able to live with them in a permanent home and stable environment. This is a great contribution to ensure a better tomorrow for them. The visit gave us the opportunity to make a small contribution to the magnificent work being done by the administrative body, the teachers, the doctors, and - above all - the host-mothers."
SOS Children's Villages work in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea lies on the Atlantic coast, to the south of Cameroon. It has a population of just 400,000 and is therefore one of the smallest countries in Africa. Despite a certain amount of wealth, which comes from the recently discovered oil deposits, the population lives in great poverty. This results in a considerably high infant mortality rate, a low life expectancy and high rates of both illiteracy and unemployment.
SOS Children's Villages first contacted the government of Equatorial Guinea in the early 1990's. Once an agreement had been signed in 1992, it was possible to start taking steps towards setting up SOS Children's Village facilities. In 1996, SOS Children's Villages set up a kindergarten and two years later opened an SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in an effort to improve child welfare and education.
In 2000, following years of construction, the SOS Children's Village Bata was opened on the mainland. The same year, an SOS Medical Centre was opened to ensure medical care for the neighbouring population. Currently there is one SOS Children's Village in Equatorial Guinea, one SOS Kindergarten, one SOS Hermann Gmeiner School and one SOS Medical Centre.