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

Natitingou is a city and commune located in north-western Benin, with just over 100,000 inhabitants. This rural region is much drier than the south of Benin, making farming difficult. It is also among the poorest and least developed areas in the country. The majority of families living here don’t have access to proper housing, safe drinking water or sanitation facilities. Furthermore, many villages are very remote and lack proper infrastructure, such as medical services or schools. Children growing up here rarely get an education and are disadvantaged from a young age.

Since 1999, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in Natitingou.

3 in 10
People do not have access to safe drinking water

Living conditions are extremely poor

Unfortunately, the standard of living is quite poor all over Benin, but the situation in rural areas of the country, such as Natitingou, is particularly dire. Many families live in poverty, as making a living through farming is difficult in the dry climate of the north. People tend to live in shacks, without access to proper sanitation facilities, such as toilets, or safe drinking water. In fact, around 3 in 10 people in rural Benin cannot easily get safe drinking water. This makes people, and children in particular, vulnerable to waterborne disease. In combination with a general absence of medical services in rural areas of the country, this puts these people at incredible risk.

Of young girls cannot read or write in Benin

Children lack access to education

Because Natitingou is quite remote, very limited access to medical treatment and education is the reality for a large portion of the population here. Consequently, the rate of illiteracy remains high, and girls and women, in particular, are disadvantaged when it comes to education. Through initiatives such as making basic education free for girls, the government is undertaking actions to relieve the situation, but insufficient access to basic services will remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. While primary school enrolment is relatively high in the country, not every child is able to complete education in rural Benin – and it is mainly girls who drop out of school. As a result, the majority, around 70%, are not able to read or write.

Your support makes a difference for children in Natitingou

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn in our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Growing up together, playing and forming bonds. Children who can’t live with their families are cared for by SOS Children’s Villages (Photo: SOS Children's Villages in Benin).

How your support helps in Natitingou

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-centred learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Younger 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.