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

The city of Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and has a population of over 1.5 million. It is the country’s largest and most important city, and its population has been steadily increasing over recent decades and continues to do so. Many people move here from rural areas in hope of a better life, and the city is also home to a lot of refugees from neighbouring countries. Poverty in the city is widespread and unemployment is high, especially amongst youth. In addition, many families live in very poor conditions, lacking proper housing or access to basic sanitation or medical care.

Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Ouagadougou.

Of young people are not in school or employment

High unemployment in the city

In urban Ouagadougou, unemployment continues to be a problem, especially amongst the young. In addition, the seasonal and often difficult nature of rural, agricultural work means that thousands migrate to the city each year in search of work, but this is simply not available. This influx of people adds to the existing poverty in the city. The precarious socioeconomic situation, in combination with internal migration, makes many families incredibly vulnerable. Children, young people and women are mostly affected. For instance, around 23% of young people between the age of 15 and 24 are neither in school nor have a formal job. Life for these young people is very tough and unlikely to improve without support mechanisms.

1 in 2
People lack access to sanitation

Living in informal settlements

The city of Ouagadougou has been growing significantly over the past years, as internal migrants and refugees from abroad move here in hope for a better life. However, this continues to increase pressure on existing infrastructure and many families end up living in extremely poor conditions. While most people have access to safe drinking water sources, only half of households have proper sanitation facilities, such as toilets. This increases the risk of contracting certain diseases, which can be particularly dangerous for children. At the same time, medical services are often poor or do not exist at all in these overcrowded areas of the city.

Your support makes a difference for children in Ouagadougou

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
A caregiver and children sit on a bench outside, doing their homework together. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Ouagadougou).

How your support helps in Ouagadougou

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.
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.