Cape Verde, Africa

Cape Verde is better off than many countries on the mainland of Africa, yet still faces the impact of a Sahelian climate which leads to droughts and crop failures. Approximately 14% of Cape Verde’s youngest children are undernourished. Poverty rates are dropping though and the country is doing well in its attempts to meet many of the Millennium Development Goals.


Children in Cape Verde

Many children are forced to work. Young boys work in the agriculture sector, which exposes them to dangerous working conditions, machinery and pesticides. More children work on the streets or as domestic servants, meaning that a lot of children miss out on the chance of going to school and getting a normal childhood. The government is implementing laws to reduce the number of child labourers, but it will take time for all child labour to be removed.

The infant mortality rate in Cape Verde is 23 per 1,000 live births, as health professionals now attend many births. Whilst low by African standards, the figure is still much higher than western standards.

Our Children's Villages in Cape Verde


We have two communities in Cape Verde. The first, SOS Children's Village Assomada, opened in 1984 on the island of Santiago, the largest of the nine inhabited islands. There are ten family houses are home to up to 100 children.

São Domingos

Increasing rural-to-urban migration towards the end of the 1980s led to a higher population density around the capital Praia and an increase in social deprivation. This led to a rising number of abandoned and orphaned children.

Family Strenghtening Programmes

SOS Children’s Villages also run a Family Strengthening Programme in Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente, aimed at providing support for the increasing number of vulnerable street children in the area. When the programme was launched in 2005, it targeted 111 children in the community. In April 2008 the SOS Social Centre São Vicente was opened on the island, providing child care, psychological support, food and medical support to street children. The centre comprises four workshops, emergency accommodation and a sanitary block. In addition to caring for street children, the centre also serves as a recreational and educational centre for youths from São Vicente. Library, internet facilities and extra classes are on offer to young people in the local area.

Local Contact

SOS Children in Cape Verde

C.P.No. 179/C
Isla de Santiago
Cape Verde

Tel: +238/264 73 79

Fax: +238/264 73 82


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