Dosso is a town of nearly 50,000 people, located southeast of the country's capital, Niamey. The Dosso region is largely rural and the region has the highest levels of poverty in Niger. The region is heavily affected by desertification and soil degradation, so people live in a constant food and nutrition crises. Malaria, which is endemic to the country, accounts for a large proportion of deaths of children under 5 years of age.
Since 2010, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Dosso.
Natural disasters are a major challenge to Niger’s agriculture. Niger is one of the hottest countries on the planet. Severe droughts, accompanied by flash floods, often mean the loss of crops and livestock.
Few families are able to cope and thousands of parents have seen their children die of hunger. Child malnutrition is more widespread than in any other African country. When children do not get the nourishment required for them to grow up healthy, they are at higher risk of death from common illnesses. More than 4 out of 10 children under 5 are stunted.
Access to school remains low for girls throughout Niger, especially in rural areas. Only 14% of women compared to 42% of men in Niger can read and write. Families often favour their sons when investing in education. After primary school, many girls are forced to get married, jeopardizing their chances of receiving adequate secondary education. Social discrimination continues into adulthood, as women are prohibited from owning land and property. Women only have access to lower-paid jobs, especially in agriculture. Breaking out of the vicious circle of poverty is therefore almost impossible for many girls and women.