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 work in Niger
The work of SOS Children in Niger began in the 1980s. In 1993, we started working on the outskirts of Niamey, the country’s capital. Our organisation has also been running SOS family strengthening programmes. Their aim is to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their family to grow up in a loving family environment. To achieve this, SOS Children in Niger works directly with families and communities to empower them to effectively protect and care for their children. At present, our organisation is supporting Nigerien children in three different locations by providing day care, education and medical support. Children whose families cannot take care of them can find a loving home in one of the SOS families.
The Village opened in 1993 and consists of 10 family houses which are home to 120 children. The children attend the SOS nursery school together with children from the neighbourhood. This way, we ensure that they are integrated into the community from a young age. Around 170 children from Niamey attend the nursery school. The children then go on to complete their primary education at the SOS school, which is attended by around 420 pupils
In March 2001, SOS Children's Villages decided to set up a second SOS Children's Village in Tahoua, approx. Opened in 2008, the village has 12 family houses which provide a new home for up to 120 children. The SOS medical centre in Tahoua attends to over 2,000 people a year, providing basic medical care and ensuring that children have access to basic services such as educational, nutritional and health support to ensure their healthy development. The medical centre is open to the community, many of whom have nowhere else to turn to.
SOS Children's Village Dosso is very well integrated into the surrounding community and appreciated for the services it offers to the local population. It has been providing help and support to the people in the region since 2010. Our package of services includes loving homes for children who grow up without parental care, medical treatment, schooling and counselling. The SOS Children's Village comprises twelve SOS families where up to 120 children can be cared for by SOS mothers. It also includes a nursery school.
Emergency Relief Programme
SOS Children’s Villages is ramping up its emergency response for children and families affected by conflict and displacement in West Africa. Starting in 2017, a new programme in Nigeria’s Borno state is being launched and work in Niger’s Diffa region is being expanded.
Since 2015, SOS Children’s Villages has helped thousands of children and families in Diffa who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence in north-east Nigeria. The emergency relief programme for Diffa will be extended for another 18 months with additional programmes planned near Diffa city and Mainé-Soroa as well as a new location in N’Guigmi.
SOS Villages d’Enfants Niger
Tel: +227/20 752672, +227/20 752898
Fax: +227/20 752545