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

Kara is located in the north of the Togolese Republic, in the poorest region of the country. The majority of the more than 100,000 inhabitants live off farming, mostly for to feed themselves and their families. The complex social and economic situation causes families to struggle to stay together and children often end up without parental care. Not only do children lack nutritious food, but they also fail to receive an education, which will give them the chance to break the cycle of poverty as they grow older.

Since 1979, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kara.

1 out of 4
Children between ages 16 and 18 attend school

Children leave school and go to work

Although education is free and compulsory by law in Togo, some families still cannot afford to send their children to school. The cost of school uniforms and school supplies can be too expensive for families under financial pressure. Long distances to schools and the prospect of physical and sexual abuse at schools also discourage attendance. In addition, children who are living in extreme poverty often have to leave school to help support their families through work. Only around half of children aged 13 to 15 attend school and only a quarter between ages 16 and 18.

Poverty rate in female-headed households

Inequality and poverty

When clean water and sanitation infrastructure are scarce, some members of the population fare worse than others. Women have to spend a lot of time collecting water from distant sources. This laborious daily activity means that they have less time to look after children or to be involved in money-making enterprises. Poverty is, thus, higher in female-headed households (48%) than in male-headed households (45%). Women remain more vulnerable, as they have less access to socioeconomic opportunities, education, and health facilities. Improving water services in Togo would mean a reduction in poverty as well as inequality between the genders.

Your support makes a difference for children in Kara

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Brothers helping each other out during a music lesson. Siblings grow up together and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Togo).

How your support helps in Kara

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 trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start 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.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
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.