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

Louga is the capital of the Louga region, located in the northwestern part of Senegal. Around 100,000 people live in the city, which is mainly dependent on agriculture. In a country that is severely affected by climate change, the livelihood of small-scale farmers is increasingly threatened by droughts and floods. Children are affected by the consequences of food and job insecurity and are also victims of child labour and child marriages.

Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Louga.

Of girls in Louga are forced into marriage

Girls are forced into marriage

In Senegal, many girls are still victims 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 Louga specifically, around 55% 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 live in poverty

Climate change causing poverty

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 Louga specifically, a region that is dependent on agriculture, the consequences of climate change are very tangible. In a region where 27% of people live in poverty, many families could be affected. Children are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Your spport makes a difference for children in Louga

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
Siblings playing together. They grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Senegal).

How your support helps in Louga

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.