Republic of Guinea

Country information:

Capital: Conakry
Area: 245,857 sqr. km.
Population: 9,806,509 (July 2008 est.)
Official language: French
Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
Religion: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 4%
Human Development Index ranking: 160/177 (UNPD 2008)
Literacy rate: 29.5%
HIV/AIDS: 1.5% (Unicef 2003 est.)
Total orphans as a percentage of all children: 10.5% (Unicef 2006)

SOS Children’s Villages in Guinea:

The political liberalization in Guinea and the more positive social politics in favour of needy children during 1984/1985 enabled SOS-Kinderdorf International to become active in Guinea as well. Having signed a cooperation agreement with the government in December 1985, SOS Children’s Villages was given a plot of land free of charge, approx. 25 km east of the centre of Conakry. So, from 1987 to 1989 the first SOS Children’s Village with an attached kindergarten and a school came into being in Conakry. In December 1989, the first children moved into their new home.

In 1993, SOS Children’s Villages received another property for the extension of its activities in Guinea in the furthermost southeast of the country, in the district of Gbangana, near the provincial city of N’Zérékoré. It was here that the SOS Children’s Village N’Zérékoré with a kindergarten and a school was established in 1999/2000. As from October 2000, a national SOS Children’s Villages Association managed the SOS Children’s Villages work in Guinea as a legal entity. After the first youths had outgrown the SOS Children’s Village Conakry, an SOS Youth Facility was established in a rented house in Conakry in 1995.

In the course of the years, SOS Children’s Villages Guinea also carried out various community outreach programmes and among others also contributed to the food provision of the evacuated SOS Children’s Village Bissau. In 2002, the idea came up to build a third SOS Children’s Village in Guinea, namely in Kankan, the second biggest city of the country, approximately 520 km from Conakry. In 2003, several community assistance activities in all SOS Children’s Villages in Guinea were strengthened. Particularly in Conakry, an adult literacy and training programme especially for women was set up in co-operation with a women’s organization starting with October 2003. In March 2005 the preparation for the fourth Children´s Village in Labe has started.

At present there are three SOS Children’s Villages in Guinea, one SOS Youth Facility, three SOS Kindergartens, four SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools and three SOS Social Centres/Family Strengthening Programmes.