Child Sponsor Niger
with its population of around 15,000,000 is located
in west Africa and shares borders with Nigeria and
Benin to its south, Burkina Faso and Mali to its
west, Algeria and Libya to its north and Chad
to its east and is 80% covered by the Sahara desert with increasing levels of
desertification. Achieving independence on April 3rd 1960 from France, it
quickly lapsed into what can only be described as a failed state with a rapid
succession of single party or military governments. Whilst a government is
technically in power its reach barely touches the majority of the country
where for most there are not even basic services.
Niger is in joint 186th place out of
186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy,
literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country with a
life expectancy of 54.7 years. The average age in Niger is just 15 years old,
with just under half the population being aged 0 -14 years old.
Most of Niger's population live
in poverty and their homes are small mud brick huts, over crowded and without
any basic services such as electricity, sanitation or water. In fact, 64% of the country's village population lack
access to safe water, with what water being
available at risk of contamination due to an almost
non existent sanitation systems outside urban areas
causing many illness particularly affecting Niger
children including diarrhoea and typhoid fever.
Over 10% of all children die at
birth and those who survive are at risk of
exploitation and human trafficking for a life of begging, enforced working
in in gold mines, domestic servitude and also for working in agriculture and
stone quarries; in fact an estimated 8,800 to 43,000 people in Niger live under
conditions of traditional slavery. This already bleak situation is compounded by
regular Tuareg rebellions
and droughts across the region that destroy crops and animals; their only source
of subsistence living.
Child sponsor programs in Niger
focus on building schools, providing food aid and supplies such as seeds to
develop sustainable farming methods, improving access to safe water supplies and
providing care to orphaned and abandoned children. If you work with children in Niger tell us about your work here. You can help when you sponsor
a child in Niger.