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

Makeni has a population of around 125,000 people. It is the capital of the Northern Province and the Bombali district. The Northern Province is shaped by agriculture and most people make a living as subsistence farmers in rural areas. In the city of Makeni, most people work in the informal sector, for example as petty traders selling merchandise on the streets. On the whole, living conditions in the northern part of the country are extremely difficult.

Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Makeni.

Of children live in poverty in the district

Children living in poverty

In Bombali, the district where Makeni is situated, 63% of children live in poverty. Even though the levels of poverty have declined over the past couple of years, a large number of families still continue to face hardships. Children in rural areas are far more likely to be affected by poverty than those living in urban areas. The northern region of Sierra Leone’s North has the highest levels of child poverty in the country. Children who grow up in poverty often don’t have access to the food, shelter, sanitation facilities, health care or education they need to not only survive, but also thrive.

Of the population never attended school

Many people didn’t go to school

Getting an education is more than just being able to read and write. It can empower people and enable them to participate fully in society. It also contributes to improving one’s livelihood as having a diploma can increase chances of secure employment. In Sierra Leone there is a big divide in who receives education: people in rural areas are less likely to go to school than those in urban areas and women are less likely to be educated than men. Furthermore, people affected by poverty are less likely to receive an education. Overall, 44% of the current population never attended school.

Your support makes a difference for children in Makeni

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.
Children and young people
Attend our schools and training centres
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Strengthening communities and children. We work hard to make sure that children stay at school for as long as possible (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Sierra Leone).

How your support helps in Makeni

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.
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.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.