Cape Verde

Country information:

Capital: Praia
Area: 4,033 sqr. km.
Population: 426,998 (July 2008 est.)

Official language: Portuguese
Ethnic groups: Creole 71%, African 28%, European 1%
Religion: Roman Catholic and Protestant
Human Development Index ranking: 102/177 (UNPD 2008)
Literacy rate: 76.6%
HIV/AIDS: 0.035% (2003 est.)
Total orphans as a percentage of all children: –

SOS Children’s Villages in Cape Verde:

The big misery of the orphaned and abandoned children on the main island of the Cape Verdes induced SOS-Kinderdorf International to become active on these islands in 1980. Together with the “Instituto Caboverdeano de Solidariedade” (ICS), a non-governmental organization, represented by Mr. Orlando Mascarenhas, concrete steps were taken to realise this plan. On 23 January 1981, an agreement between the Cape Verde government represented by ICS and SOS-Kinderdorf International was signed.

Eventually, a suitable site was found for the first SOS Children’s Villages project in Assomada, a small town in the mountains, approx. 30 km from the capital Praia on the island of São Tiago. At the end of 1982, construction work began on the first SOS Children’s Village and Kindergarten in Cape Verde. In June 1984, construction could be completed and the first 15 children then moved into their new home.

At the end of the ’80s/beginning of the ’90s, SOS-Kinderdorf International made a special commitment to Cape Verde with regards to the establishment of better educational facilities as the educational situation was particularly precarious. Small schools were established in remote rural communities and in addition, a primary school with twelve grades was established in Praia.

For their direction and day-to-day running, all schools were handed over to the national school authorities. After the first children from the SOS Children’s Village Assomada slowly began to grow out of the village, an SOS Youth House was established in Assomada in 1988. Furthermore, the first projects for assisting youth independence were established, such as a carpentry workshop in the compound of the SOS Children’s Village.

The poor social situation in Praia, which was caused by the strong rural exodus due to lack of water in the rural areas, brought about the idea of building a second SOS Children’s Village near the capital Praia in 1997. This village was realised in São Domingos, approx. 10 km from Praia, in 2002. The national SOS Children’s Village Association of Cape Verde, which had been founded in April 1984, was suspended in 1994. Only in November 2002, a new SOS Children’s Village Association of Cape Verde could be re-established as legal body in the country.

At present there are two SOS Children’s Villages in Cape Verde, one SOS Youth Facility and two SOS Kindergartens and two SOS Social Centres/Family Strengthening Programmes.