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 Guinea-Bissau).

Guinea-Bissau is a small country in West Africa with a population of about two million people. It borders Senegal, Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Since then it has suffered through multiple coups and conflicts, which have weakened the economy and lead to political instability. The country relies heavily on agriculture and remains relatively poor.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Guinea-Bissau since 1994.

Children are at risk

Over the past few years, despite Guinea-Bissau’s difficult political and social situation, there have been improvements concerning the wellbeing of children. For example, the under-five and neonatal mortality rates have improved. However, many problems remain. Immunisation rates have declined and malnutrition rates have stagnated. Child marriage, violence against women and female genital mutilation remain big obstacles in terms of gender equality as well as children’s rights.
Of children in Guinea-Bissau suffer from poverty

Children live in poverty

Multidimensional poverty measures poverty not just based on income, but also as to what other goods and services people cannot access. This may include things such as housing, education or clean water. 75% of children in Guinea-Bissau experience three or more deprivations and 52% suffer four deprivations at the same time. Children who grow up in poverty often don’t have the food, sanitation, shelter, health care or education they need to not just survive but also thrive.

Of women have undergone female genital mutilation

Violence against women

Guinea-Bissau banned all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM). However, in recent years there has been a rise in occurrences. The World Health Organization defines FGM as “the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” FGM is a harmful practice that violates the rights and negatively impacts the well-being of girls. It can be seen as a direct manifestation of gender inequality.

Of children are engaged in child labour

Child labour

Most children in Guinea-Bissau have certain obligations to fulfil. Either at home, the fields or on the streets. Child labour can result in physical and mental harm, and sometimes even death. It can lead to slavery and sexual or economic exploitation. In nearly every case, it prevents children from attending school and receiving health care. This restricts their fundamental rights and threatens their futures.

Together we can make a difference for children in Guinea-Bissau

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Djatu’s husband left three years ago to look for work. She has not heard from him again. She looks powerful, but her life is a fight. “I have to persist for my children. I want to be their example, show them that you can get somewhere if you really set your heart to it and work hard” (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Guinea-Bissau).

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