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

With a population of around 175,000, Bo is one of the biggest cities in Sierra Leone. It is the capital of the Southern Province and the Bo district. Bo is an important financial, educational and commercial centre in the country. Agriculture is the primary occupation in Sierra Leone. Major crops include items such as palm oil, coffee, cocoa and rice, which are then transported to other major cities in Sierra Leone.

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

Of children experienced violence by caregivers

Physical punishment

Physical punishment is still legal in Sierra Leone, even though the government has committed to prohibiting it. Violent discipline at home is the most common form of violence against children. 86% of children reported to have experienced violence by caregivers.This can be especially harmful at a young age, because there is an increased risk of physical injuries and children can’t understand the reasons behind the abuse or adopt coping strategies. Physical and psychological aggression often happen at the same time. The consequences of violent discipline range from immediate effects to long-term damage that affect children through their childhood and into adulthood.

Of women and girls underwent female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation

The WHO defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as “the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” It has no health benefits for girls and women. FGM is a harmful practice that violates the rights and negatively impacts the well-being of girls. It can be seen as a direct manifestation of gender inequality. 83% of women and girls in Sierra Leone have undergone female genital mutilation. Even though the number of girls and woman who have been affected has decreased in recent years, many people in Sierra Leone still think FGM is an acceptable practice.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bo

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
Brothers and sisters in our care often study together and help each other prepare for their school exams (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Sierra Leone).

How your support helps in Bo

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.