A Continent of Diversity and Variety
Hunger, HIV / AIDS, wars: Countless children in Africa have to grow up without parents and in poverty. The SOS Children's Villages have been providing urgently needed help in Africa for more than 40 years. As early as 1971, the first children's village on the African continent was built in Abobo-Gare in Ivory Coast. Djibouti is the youngest country where the SOS Children's Villages became active. SOS helps in 46 African countries.
Africa’s unimaginable size ensures that things vary region by region, country by country, community by community. As a result, there is not one Africa – it is a region known for its variety and diversity in terms of everything from climate to culture to individual experiences.
However, of the 18 countries where poverty is currently rising, 14 are in Africa, according to a 2018 report by the Brookings Institute. Projections indicate that if current trends continue, Africa will be home to 90% of the world’s poorest people by 2030. This is a continent where the majority of the world’s natural resources are found but instability and a lack of infrastructure have prevented their excavation. This is now being cruelly exploited, foreign government and conglomerates building local essential infrastructure with the payment extracted in-kind.
What Children Face: Barriers to Empowerment
Much work remains to be done with regard to education and empowerment in Africa, for instance, 10.5 million children don’t attend school. 11 million children under the age of 14 are forced to perform child labor. On the other side of the continent, children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are clearly the most vulnerable group in the bloody civil war that is still raging. The country has one of the largest numbers of child soldiers in Africa.
Across large section of the continent many children are denied the joy of childhood and an education. They are barred from empowering themselves, crippled by poverty.