With 360,000 inhabitants, the city of Yamoussoukro is Cote d'Ivoire's fifth largest city and the official capital of the country. It is located in the interior, about 240 km northwest of Côte d’Ivoire’s economic and cultural centre, the coastal city of Abidjan.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the region, providing the main source of income for half of the population.
Since 2014, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Yamoussoukro.
HIV/AIDS rates are high in Côte d’Ivoire. Latest numbers show that 21,000 children were reported to have been infected with the virus across the country – but only 49% children had access to antiretroviral therapy that suppresses the virus in the body and helps reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Families who are affected by the disease often cannot access treatment due to the high cost and long journeys to reach a medical centre. If they are ill and unable to work, they are increasingly at risk of poverty, and unable to ensure a nutritious diet for themselves and their children. These families need special support to stay together.
Côte d'Ivoire has made progress in improving access to education, even though many schools still have a shortage of trained teachers.
Today, fewer young people are excluded from education and more and more young people have access to secondary education. However, only 50% of both boys and girls enroll in secondary school.
Especially in rural areas, girls often drop out of education and start a family with an older man who can provide financially. This makes the girls highly dependent on their husband or father of their children.