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

With a population growth of 4.5% and around 1.2 million people, Hargeisa is a fast growing city and the capital of Somaliland. However, the speed and scale of urbanisation increasingly poses challenges, such as meeting the accelerated demand for affordable housing, sustainable infrastructure including transport systems, basic services and jobs. For this reason, poverty and high unemployment remain widespread, threatening the livelihood of families and the lives of thousands of children.

Since 2008, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Hargeisa.

Of people in urban areas are poor

Urban poverty puts families at risk

In Somaliland, around 30% of people in urban areas, including Hargeisa, live in poverty. The majority have been forced to move to Hargeisa due to conflict and natural disasters. They arrived here in search of safety and ways to survive. Families living in poverty often suffer from malnutrition, as they do not have the means to grow or buy goods. They live in low quality housing with neither access to safe sanitation facilities nor clean water to drink. Living in such conditions makes them vulnerable to other illnesses and disease – meanwhile healthcare is likewise not readily available. Unless families receive the support they need, children will drop out of school, be forced to work or left to fend for themselves.

Of people were internally displaced

Forced displacement

In Somaliland, recurrent clan conflicts and droughts have forced many families to leave their land and move to congested internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, which are often overcrowded and poorly maintained. In 2020, around 19% of the population were internally displaced. The internal displacement of communities and families has a severe impact on children as many families are separated. In these situations, children are particularly vulnerable to abuse, violence and exploitation as social norms break down and protective services are not available. The consequences of displacement, if unaddressed, can last for a lifetime, especially when it interrupts education and limits future opportunities.

Your support makes a difference for children in Hargeisa

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Emergency responses
Were possible
Siblings playing together. Children in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Somaliland).

How your support helps in Hargeisa

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.
Protecting children in emergencies
In times of conflict and natural disasters, we respond to the urgent needs of children and families. In emergencies, SOS Children’s Villages focuses on keeping families together, and provide practical, psychological and medical support. If children are separated from their families, we look after them and work to reunite them. We also provide immediate practical assistance. For example, we create child-friendly spaces where children are cared for.
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.