29/11/2006 - The city of Bouar was chosen as the location for the second SOS Children's Village for several reasons. The city was affected by recent rebel attacks and has received the highest number of displaced people from the north. The social situation of the children is worrisome and is marked by poverty, malnutrition and insecurity.
The majority of Bouar's children do not attend school, especially the little girls. Parents often prefer to keep the children at home as farmhands or for domestic tasks. Medical facilities are also very limited. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases, such as cholera and diarrhea are widespread. Malaria is common and the HIV/AIDS infection rate is high.
The SOS Children's Village Bouar will consist of twelve SOS family houses. Other facilities include an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School, SOS Kindergarten, SOS Social Centre, SOS Medical Centre and a sports complex, where children can play football, basketball, volleyball and tennis. The village will be able to accommodate 120 children, while the surrounding communities will benefit from the SOS Children's Villages' supporting facilities and programmes.
Bouar is located 460 kilometres northwest of the country's capital, Bangui. The city is a commercial and transportation centre. It is the largest city on the main road linking the Central African Republic with Cameroon. The principal ethnic group of this region is the Baya, a Bantu group which live in scattered farming clans throughout the western half of the country. There is small-scale cattle herding in Bouar, which supports a local milk and cheese industry.