The Monrovia Alternative Care facility of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia received (19) more children on Wednesday, 7 March, 2018. These children were recommended to SOS Liberia by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
In September last year (2017), SOS Liberia together with the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection reunified children that were living in the Monrovia Children’s Village with their biological parents. This followed an assessment which proved that these children were ready to be reunified and reunited with their respective biological families. This action created space in the Monrovia Children’s Village. Since then, SOS Liberia set out to work with the Ministry of Gender, Children Social Protection and all other relevant stakeholders, including community persons to replace the children that have left the Monrovia Children’s Village. SOS Liberia received a list of suggested children from the Ministry of Gender, Children Social Protection in this regard. In return an independent verification team embarked on a very elaborate and thorough exercise to ensure that only the children that qualify for alternative care get admitted into the homes. This is in line with social protection policy of the Republic of Liberia, as well as the United Nations guidelines on Alternative Care, both of which state that Alternative Care should be a matter of last resort.
Presenting the nineteen children to the SOS Children’s Village on behalf of Deputy Minister, Madam Lydia Mai Sherman, the Director of Social Assistance Division, Mrs. Alfreda Jacobs said the Ministry of Gender is pleased with the partnership with SOS Liberia. Speaking Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 in Monrovia at the presentation ceremony, Madam Jacobs noted that the protection of Liberian children is important for their progress of the country. The 19 children were taken mainly from the VOA Community in Brewerville, a community that was highly affected by the Ebola crisis, with several deaths reported. Madam Jacobs noted, that SOS has shouldered the responsibility to care for several of the kids whose parents lost their lives during the deadly Ebola crisis of 2014. “Today, I am honored to present nineteen children from the VOA Community to SOS Liberia, Madam Jacobs said. She then pledged her Ministry’s commitment to continue to work with SOS Liberia for the care and protection of vulnerable children, particularly those who have lost parental care or are at the risk of losing parental care.
Receiving the children on behalf of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia, the National Director for SOS Liberia, Mr. Augustine A. Allieu said that the day was a very important one in the lives of these children that we are about to be admitted into the SOS Children’s Village Monrovia, as well as in the work that SOS is doing in Liberia. According to Mr. Allieu, “UNICEF reports that there are about 220 million children without parental care or at risk of losing it who live in extremely disadvantaged circumstances worldwide. Also related to that is the fact that 1 in 10 children live without parental care worldwide. Here in Liberia, according to LDHS, only 49% of children under 15 live with both parents”. He reiterated that “it is therefore quite imperative that, in line with the social protection provisions of the Republic of Liberia, organizations such as SOS Liberia come in to support these category of vulnerable children in order to ensure that they can experience the joys and fulfilments of a loving home and to realize their full potentials in life – like any other child”.
SOS Chlddren’s Villages Liberia currently operate out of two main locations –Monrovia (Montserrado County) and Juah Town (Grand Bassa County). The organization delivers support mainly children that have lost parental care or are at the risk of losing parental care. Their support is delivered through three main programmes:
- The Family Based Care Programme (FBC), which provides direct support and a loving home to children that qualify for such support;
- The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP), through which we deliver support to children of our primary target group and their caregivers directly in their respective communities; and
- Youth Empowerment Programme, through which we provide support to those who have become young adults and require support for higher education learning, skills training, as well as capacity building for entrepreneurship and employability.
The organization also operate health and education facilities both of which support the three programmes described above.