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

Kaolack is the capital of the Kaolack region, located in west central Senegal. Around 200,000 people live in this city, which is often referred to as the “peanut basin” as much of the local economy is based on the trading and processing of peanuts. However, this economic activity is increasingly threatened by drought and flooding. Children are vulnerable to the consequences of food and job insecurity, while also being victims of child marriage, due to cultural beliefs.

Since 1983, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kaolack.

Of girls were married as children

Children are forced into marriage

In Senegal, many girls are still victim of of child marriages. Indeed, 29% of women are married before they turn 18. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and domestic violence. Poverty is a major cause of early child marriage. In the province of Kaolack specifically, around 50% of all women were married before age 18. The target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.

Of people in Kaolack live in poverty

The impact of climate change

In the words of Kofi Annan, climate change”is vital question for Africa. No region has done less to contribute to the climate crisis, but no region will pay a higher price for failure to tackle it.” Senegal is one of the countries that will suffer the most from climate change, which includes rising sea level and repeated droughts and floods. In Kaolack specifically, a region that is dependent on agriculture, the consequences of climate change are very tangible. In a region where 58% of people live in poverty, many families could be affected. Children are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Your support makes a difference for children in Kaolack

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
Children and young people
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
Young people and their caregiver. Children and young people grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Senegal).

How your support helps in Kaolack

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.