January 31 2008

SOS facilities in Mogadishu still under evacuation

31/01/2008 - Since the beginning of December, the children and their SOS mothers have been staying in safe parts of the town. After the security situation became dramatically worse towards the end of 2007, all other facilities also had to be closed until further notice.

Over the last few months the security situation in the area surrounding the SOS Children's Village facilities became so dire that the children had to be evacuated to safe areas. After a grenade caused devastation, killing the wife and two children of one of the staff members, and other serious incidents, all the education facilities and the large SOS clinic were also forced to close down at the end of 2007.

It is the first time that SOS Children's Village facilities in the Somalian capital have had to be closed; they even remained open during the hard years of the civil war at the beginning of the 1990s.

The situation in the area of town where the SOS projects are located has still not calmed down. In the coming weeks, the director of SOS Children's Villages Somalia, the village director and school director will travel to Mogadishu in order to assess the current situation and discuss possible solutions with those in charge in the area. One of their main concerns is that the children can attend regular lessons again as soon as possible.

Another location may be considered for the SOS clinic on a temporary basis, which has been offering essential medical care for thousands of people, especially for women and children, for years. The staff are ready for this and are waiting for the situation to improve.

Claudio Croce, responsible for the project in Somalia, is quietly optimistic when he talks about positive signs in politics, and hopes that the long-suffering people of Mogadishu and the children in the care of SOS Children's Villages will finally see peace.