Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Djibouti to its north-west, Kenya to its south-west, the Gulf of Aden to its north, the Indian Ocean to its east and Ethiopia to its west. Formerly British and Italian protectorates, the two colonies became one following independence in 1960 as the Somali Democratic Republic. In 1969 a coup installed Mohamed Siad Barre as president, and, although a harsh socialist regime then ruled the country until its collapse in 1991, many improvements were made to the country, particularly in the field of literacy. Since that time the country has been in almost perpetual conflict with no real rule of any government.
Its a tragedy that a generation of Somalia children are being forced to grow up knowing nothing but famine, war and conflict. The life expectancy in Somalia is just 48 years of age, and as such, 44% of the country's population are children under the age of fifteen. Of those over fourteen just 37.8% are literate and 71% of all children suffer from malnourishment. Shockingly, an estimated 200,000 Somalia children are believed to have taken up arms during the conflict there. As UNICEF's representative to Somalia stated “Putting children in the line of fire, killing and maiming them in the context of an armed conflict are among the most serious violations of international law which all parties to the conflict are expected to uphold. The use and recruitment of children under the age of 15 years is a war crime.” Somalia is effectively a failed state in conflict. As such, most of the work in Somalia is to get humanitarian aid in quickly then withdraw and leave longer term planning until there is some semblance of order in the country. As a result, millions are suffering both physical and emotional trauma as well as shortages of life essentials.
For these reasons there are limited child sponsor programs in Somalia, however, as ever, soschildrensvillages.org continue to provide care for orphaned and abandoned children.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children by sponsoring a child.
Sponsor a child in an orphanage in Burtinle, a small town in the north-east
Sponsor a blind school child in Somalia and provide them with maths, English, science and religious studies.
A Somalia children video showing pictures, images and other footage of happy smiling children in Somalia.
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