Cape Verde

SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Cape Verde)

Cape Verde is an island nation located about 570 kilometres off the coast of West Africa. The archipelago, which consists of ten islands and five islets, became independent from Portuguese colonial rule in 1975. Compared to most parts of the African continent, Cape Verde is a fairly developed country where incomes have risen. However, not all people living here have benefited. There is still a lack of economic opportunities and poverty. As a result, a large proportion of Cape Verdeans have left the islands to live elsewhere. Of the families who continue to live in the country, many live in precarious conditions.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Cape Verde since 1981.

Children are at risk

Although children in Cape Verde are generally better off than many other children on the African continent, they are still exposed to many risks. Many families at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder live in extreme poverty. They have limited access to drinking water, sanitation and other basic services. They often struggle to provide their children with sufficient nutritious food, leading to malnutrition. This problem is exacerbated by the widespread shortage of fresh water on the island.
Of people in Cape Verde don’t have clean water in homes

Fresh water is scarce

Due to the Sahelian climate, which is characterized by long periods of drought, there is often a lack of fresh water on Cape Verde. Around 41% of the population has no access to clean water in their homes. Due to the water shortage, many people have left the country's rural areas and moved to the capital. The country's rural economy is often affected by periods of drought, during which crops are destroyed. As a result, food is not always available, leading to malnutrition for some people.

1 in 10
Of Cape Verdean children are undernourished


Even though the poverty rate in Cape Verde has decreased in recent years, many people still do not have access to adequate housing, sanitation or public facilities such as schools and hospitals. Furthermore, many parents struggle to provide enough food for their children. Due to poverty and crop failure, around 1 in 10 children are undernourished. Life in Cape Verde remains a daily struggle for those on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, and children are particularly vulnerable.

Of Cape Verdean children are not in primary school

Child labour

Although the Cape Verdean government has signed a number of laws to protect the country's children from the worst forms of child labour, it still exists for many children. They are employed in agriculture, where they are forced to work with dangerous machinery and are exposed to pesticides. Many children reportedly work as domestic servants, street vendors and car washers at traffic lights. Often the children have to work to support their families financially. Many of them have no chance of getting a good school education. Around 10% of children here do not attend primary school. .

Together we can make a difference for children in Cape Verde

Children and adults
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives