SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Cameroon)

The Republic of Cameroon is situated in West Africa and is home to more than 26 million people. Generally, the country is more politically and economically stable than other countries in the region. However, families are in need of support as they continue to face important challenges. Economic crises and conflicts in neighbouring countries have repeatedly affected the lives of Cameroonians, as many refugees come here, especially in the northern and eastern areas of the country. Malnutrition, the lack of education and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS are severe problems in Cameroon, which tend to be especially challenging for children in the country.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it in Cameroon since 1998.

Children are at risk

There are many problems regarding health and children are particularly affected. In terms of malnutrition, many children in Cameroon do not receive enough nutritious food - the situation has worsened over the last decade, affecting children's physical development. More than 420,000 children have lost their parents to AIDS. These children often have to take care of sick relatives or become the main breadwinners. Although this is illegal, many children are forced to work and only 60% of children complete primary school.
Of people in Cameroon don’t have access to sanitation

Many families live in poverty

While the economic situation in Cameroon has been improving, the population is growing faster than poverty is decreasing - around 8 million people are still very poor. Families in the rural northern and eastern regions are particularly affected. They often face a lack of job opportunities and declining incomes. In addition, many people do not have access to safe drinking water and many are lacking sanitation facilities. This contributes to the spread of diseases that are particularly dangerous for children, such as the recent outbreaks of cholera.

4 in 10
Children in Cameroon don’t complete primary school

Quality education is not accessible

Access to education has become easier for children in Cameroon. However, there are still challenges. Although primary school enrolment rates are quite high, 4 out of 10 children do not complete primary school. In rural Cameroon, families live very remotely and schools are far away, meaning that many children have to travel long distances every day if they are to have access to education at all. Additionally, boys and girls often do not have the same educational opportunities, which increases inequality.

Cameroonian children lost their parents to HIV

Children without parental care

While the number of infections has been falling, around 3% of Cameroon’s population still lives with HIV. Many children are directly affected, as prevention of mother-to-child- transmission cannot be guaranteed for everyone, especially in rural areas where medical services are scarce. Many more children are indirectly affected when their parents fall ill. In fact, around 420,000 children are estimated to be without parental care due to HIV/AIDS. Left to fend for themselves, these children are extremely vulnerable to malnutrition, disease and poverty.

Together we can make a difference for children in Cameroon

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
The family of origin is the best place for a child to grow up. Thanks to your support, families in Cameroon can stay together through our locally contextualized family strengthening services (Photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Cameroon).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives