Benin is acknowledged as a stable democracy with strong civil values however, like many other countries in West Africa, its resources and infrastructure are under developed and corruption is rife. Unlike many other countries in Africa, there are few child sponsor programs in Benin, however there remain real issues with children living in poverty, subject to trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as abandonment. Benin itself is one of the world's poorest countries with around 50% of the child population living on under 60p a day and just under a third of children are clinically malnourished, with a life expectancy of just 55 years.
Just over 40% have access to health care, and, when available, one doctor can be responsible for over a hundred thousand patients and a pregnant woman has to share her midwife with over ten thousand others. 121 out of every 1000 children die before their fifth birthday and there are 42,000 child orphans as a result of AIDS. It is estimated that 50,000 (86% of them girls) of the child population in Benin has been trafficked to nearby countries where they often end up in domestic servitude, agriculture, cotton plantations or selling goods on the street. Given that 40% of all children in Benin have no birth certificate they have no official identity or nationality making this practice easier to take place.
For a child living in rural areas even when not trafficked they are often sent to family or friends in urban areas with a promise of a better life and education but end up just working, often in poor conditions. It is estimated that some 45% of the child population in Benin is engaged in child labour. Child sponsor programs in Benin work with children who have been abandoned because of traditional beliefs; a belief that if a mother dies in childbirth or the child has a disability it is evil and should therefore be abandoned or even have its life ended. Other programs include child access to education, health resources, nutrition as well as preventing children from Benin being trafficked to nearby Gabon and Nigeria where they are forced into child labour in quarries. Some are even trafficked to Angola to work in diamond mines. You can help when you sponsor a child in Benin.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children by sponsoring a child.
Sponsor a child in Benin and help them to protect themselves, mainly against HIV/AIDS and STI.
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program listed in this online African child sponsor directory for free!
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