SOS Children's Village Mbalmayo

photo: SOS Archives
SOS Children's Village Mbalmayo was built in Ngalla, a small village located about a kilometre away from the centre of Mbalmayo (45 km from Yaoundé). It is surrounded by tropical vegetation that is typical of the area. It comprises ten family houses and provides a home for up to 100 children. SOS Children's Village Mbalmayo also includes a village director’s house, an administration building, a guest house for the organisation’s co-workers who come for various training courses, and a multi-purpose hall for various activities within the village.  

The SOS Kindergarten, which is located in the village, is also open to children from the neighbouring community. The kindergarten was opened in 1995, before the SOS Children's Village, and has a capacity of up to 150 children. It consists of six classrooms, a library, and several other rooms intended for the use of the administrative section and director.

The SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School, which is also open to children from the neighbouring community, was opened in 1997. A total of 432 pupils can be taught in its twelve classrooms. The school includes a library with a computer corner and an administration building. As regards their schooling, the SOS children can choose between the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School and two state schools. Mbalmayo also has two secondary schools: a high school and a technical college.   

An SOS Medical Centre was also opened in November 1998 with the aim of providing valuable medical care as well as carrying out various prevention campaigns at a local level. It consists of three check-up rooms, a treatment room, a laboratory, a dispensary, a sterile room, and a reception and administration area. Up to 250 patients have been able to receive treatment at the centre every month since it opened. 

An SOS Social Centre, opened in July 2004, aims to support people who have been infected with the HIV virus and their families (their children in particular). The SOS Social Centre can provide help to 150 children from families in need. In addiction to that, it raises awareness of the HIV virus among the people from neighbouring areas. It also provides people or families affected by the virus with food and supports them financially and materially (scholarships for children and one-off donations from school material and school uniforms).

A youth facility was also opened as part of the programme to integrate the young people into society and the working world, which encourages the young people to become independent. The facility was opened in July 2003. It allows the young people to have a certain amount of independence under the guidance of a social-educational expert.