São Domingos is located just outside the capital Praia. Although Cape Verde is generally better off than other African countries, many families here still struggle. Especially in urban areas, inequality is a major challenge, as not everyone has benefited from Cape Verde's relative economic growth in recent years. Many poor families only have limited access to basic services. Children growing up in these conditions are disadvantaged - instead of receiving education, they often have to work.
Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in São Domingos.
Although Cape Verde is more developed than most countries on the African continent, a significant number of Cape Verdeans continue to lead difficult lives under precarious socio-economic conditions. Linked to this, social disparities on the island have become increasingly evident in recent decades. Housing conditions are generally poor and access to sanitation facilities such as toilets is limited, with 26% of people having no access to them at all. Children growing up here are disadvantaged from an early age.
As poverty remains a major challenge in Praia, children often have to work to support their families with extra income and thus miss out on a proper education. Many of these children work in agriculture, where they are exposed to dangerous machinery and pesticides. Moreover, without parental care, children are left to fend for themselves, and the number of children living on the streets of Praia is increasing. They have to earn a living by washing cars, transporting cargo or petty theft. Without an education, it is difficult to escape this vicious cycle.