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

The town of Kayes, where SOS Children's Village Khouloum is located, has around 127,000 inhabitants. The conditions in Kayes are amongst the worst in Mali. Children who live in female-headed households, older people, those with disabilities and suffering from HIV/AIDS are most vulnerable. The majority of the population lives off agriculture, but the region is one of the driest in Mali and food is not always available. Kayes has one of the highest incidences of child malnutrition in the country.

Since 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Khouloum.

> 50%
Of Mali’s young people aged 15 to 24 are illiterate

Access to education

Children are at risk due to a lack of adequate education and health care. Many children do not go to school because they have to earn money or look after younger siblings while their parents work. More than two million children aged between 5 and 17 still do not go to school, and over half of Mali’s young people aged 15 to 24 cannot read or write. The lack of economic opportunities leads many fathers to migrate to other areas in search of work. Children growing up in female-headed households are more than 17% more vulnerable, especially when there is no other family to support them.

1 in 2
Girls is married while still being a child

Early marriage

Girls are particularly at risk in this region: they are often married off at a very young age. One in two girls in Mali is married while still being a child. As a result, many girls stop going to school and have children at a young age. Early pregnancies often lead to complications, and due to the lack of adequate medical care, the infant and maternal mortality rate in the region is very high. Girls who are married off as children are separated from their families and friends, which can have a negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. Since they can no longer participate in community activities after marriage, they are also no longer able to participate fully in their communities and society.

Your support makes a difference for children in Khouloum

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.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children in our care are having fun eating together after school. Brothers and sisters grow up together in and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Mali).

How your support helps in Khouloum

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 training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own 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-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young 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.