SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Benin).

Abomey-Calavi is a suburb of Benin’s largest city, Cotonou, and has a population of more than 650,000. It is located in the south of the country, at the coast. Economically, the region is by far the most important in the country due to its strategic location as a central place for trade and commerce in western Africa. However, the number of people living in poverty without access to basic infrastructure remains high, and an increasing number of slums are forming as the population is growing rapidly. Children growing up in these areas are often disadvantaged. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is a particular problem here.

Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in Abomey-Calavi.

People in urban areas have access to sanitation

Poor infrastructure affects population

Abomey-Calavi is heavily populated, and migration from the poorer rural areas in the north continues to drive steady population growth. As more and more people move to the city, slums are forming. Only 25 % of the country's urban population has access to improved sanitation. Malnutrition is widespread and is a major obstacle to children's development. In addition, people living in poverty are most affected by waterborne diseases and other infectious diseases that thrive particularly well in the tropical climate. The increasing urbanisation of the region forces newcomers and the poorest to settle in areas that flood easily.

People live with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS are a huge challenge

HIV/AIDS poses a serious threat to the well-being of children in Abomey-Calavi and surrounding areas. The number of HIV-positive people is higher than in rural areas. In some cases, children lose their parents to the disease and are left on their own. They have to work to survive and rarely go to school. Besides HIV/AIDS, other pressing public health concerns include infectious diseases such as hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria and yellow fever. Thousands of people still die from diseases that could easily be treated. Lack of access to basic sanitation such as toilets and clean drinking water increases the risk of falling ill.

Your support makes a difference for children in Abomey-Calavi

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children playing together. Siblings grow up together and often form bonds that last a lifetime (Photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Benin).

How your support helps in Abomey-Calavi

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.