Sponsor a child in Senegal

Children from Louga in SenegalMany children in Senegal fall victim to child labour, begging, or street selling. In the capital Dakar alone, an estimated 7,600 children beg on the streets. SOS Children has been working to help children in Senegal lead a better life since 1976.

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Sponsor a child in Senegal

Widespread poverty despite decades of political stability

Since independence, Senegal has been one of the most politically and economically stable country on the African continent. Nevertheless, nearly half the population lives in poverty, many with no access to drinking water, sanitation or healthcare. Thousands of young people dream of a life in Europe and some risk their lives to get there, many dying at sea on the way to Italy or Spain. Human trafficking is the only way many will leave the country.

Children forced to beg on the street

Estimates suggest around 100,000 Senegalese children roam the streets, begging for money and food. West Africa has one of the world's lowest primary school enrolment rates for girls. Though the situation is improving in Senegal, the challenge now is to enable girls to remain in school once they are enrolled. Today, thousands are forced into domestic labour as soon as they are old enough to do work.

sponsor a child in SenegalOur Work in Senegal

We began working in the capital Dakar in 1977. In 1984, we began tackling poor medical infrastructure by opening a mother-and-child clinic to serve the Kaolack region. Since then, we have delivered emergency relief to fight food shortages and healthcare needs. Today, we work across five locations providing daycare, education and support to communities.


Like many African cities, Dakar is characterised by uncontrolled growth that lacks urban planning, as well as the ever-present contrast of wealth and poverty. In the city's overcrowded outskirts, population density is as high as 8,000 people per square km. Housing is underdeveloped and unsafe, especially when floods strike.

Thousands of children beg on the Dakar's streets, some as young as two years old. Many boys are sent by their parents to live with a Koranic teacher, but often they are exploited for child labour.

Our Children's Village in Dakar provides local children with essential services including healthcare and education. We also support parents in developing methods for income generation, as well as providing care and support for families affected by HIV/AIDS. We also provide a primary and secondary school education to many children from the neighbourhood as well as those living in the Village itself.


In 1983, we opened a Village in the city of Kaolack, situated in the rural region of the same name. Kaolack is notorious for being one of Africa's most polluted cities, with no rubbish collection and limited running water. Rubbish is left in large dumps on the city's outskirts, which leads to regular outbreaks of disease, including malaria, yellow fever and cholera.

Poverty levels in Kaolack are among the highest in the country. Economic and social infrastructure is poor, and opportunities for young people are few. SOS Children's focus is on providing support to families to help them overcome the dire social and economic conditions in Kaolack. We also help young people in their transition to adulthood. The success of the next generation is essential to the prosperity of the Kaolack region.


Our Village in the small city of Louga opened in 1990. Due to its proximity to the ever-expanding Sahara Desert, the hot, dry climate heaps constant pressure on agriculture, the mainstay of the local economy. Drought and famine has a critical effect on families in the area.

Families in Louga are typically huge. Over a third of all families consist of 11 or more members. Consequently, conditions are often overcrowded and parents find it difficult to provide individual children with the attention they need. Around 30,000 children have lost both parents, often to AIDS, and these children are a main focus for SOS Children. 

We work with the community to help build their capacity to care for their children. Much of this work is based at our social centre, which also provides the setting for the healthcare, counselling, and support we offer to families affected by HIV/AIDS. At our vocational training centre, we provide young people with training in a number of local trades to help improve their job prospects as they enter adulthood.


Ziguinchor is located in the Casamance region in the extreme south of Senegal, close to the border with Guinea-Bissau. In recent decades, violence has affected many people in Casamance. Around 40,000 people have been displaced and the regional economy has been hit hard. As agriculture has died out, many people have struggled to find an alternative source of income and, consequently, Casamance has become one of Senegal's poorest areas.

The extreme hardship encountered in Casamance makes our work vital. We began work in the region when we opened our Village in Ziguinchor in 1998. Today, we offer all manner of assistance to the local population. Through family support work, we ensure parents are strong enough to care for their children, offering financial support and guidance as well as practical advice on parenting and income generation. As children near independence, we help them enter vocational training and higher education.


SOS Children began work in Tambacounda in 2010. Capital city of the region of the same name, people living here rely on good harvests for their livelihoods. Cotton is at the centre of the local economy. When rain fails, food and money are scarce. Children often grow up malnourished as a result, with hunger impeding their mental development and impacting on later life.

Malnourished children benefit from healthcare at our medical centre. We have increased our food relief work since famine struck the Sahel region in 2011, and vulnerable families receive a monthly food package, as well as rice, oil, milk and baby food for infants. We also provide children at our SOS school with daily meal and a snack.

As in Louga, households are large in the Tambacounda region. Conditions are often overcrowded for children, with parents unable to provide for every child, materially and emotionally. Our family support work aims to help parents build a better environment for children growing up, enabling young people to get the most out of family life.

Aids Orphans in Senegal

Local Contact

Association Villages d'Enfants SOS Sénégal

Av. Bourguiba X

Allées Sydou Nourou Tall

BP 728 Dakar


Tel: +221/33 8242001, +221/33 8252190

Fax: +221/33 8243540

e-mail: vesossenegal@orange.sn