Schooling of children places: Awareness of Cococodji traders

14 Mar 2017
As part of its advocacy activities, the SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi has sensitized a large number of traders in the Cococodji market. Participants at the meeting understood the issue and promised a change in behaviour.

By the end of February 2017, the Family Strengthening Programme expanded its advocacy efforts in the large Cococodji dormitory area through a meeting with traders and shopkeepers. The agenda dealt with the schooling of the children who are known as "Vidomegon" in local language. Indeed, it is no secret that thousands of children sell goods in the different markets of Benin. At home, these children are the first to wake up early in the morning to do household chores. They are the ones who carry heavy goods from morning to night. Beware of them if the account is not correct in the evening on their return from the itinerant sale. They are subject to all possible humiliations and have no rights. The SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi, through the family strengthening programme, has emphasized on the respect for these children who also deserve to go to school.

Many people attended this awareness session. One of them said: "I understood everything you said. But, I would like to ask you one question about what to do with these Vidomegon girls. Shall they go to school like our own children? If so, where does the benefit come from? I guess you're not saying I'm going to be the only one to sell and feed all these people? If I have to enroll the Vidomegon girl in school, it's better for me to bring her back to the village with her own parents.

"After her intervention, a social worker replied as follow : " Thank you, Madame, for your intervention. I would like to ask you this : Do your own children have more rights the other children with you? Is it human to sacrifice the children of others for the benefit of your own children? All children have the same rights. You have heard about some of them. I do not condemn you. But I beg you not to sacrifice the children of others to the profit of yours. Maybe some of them will be high authorities in the future. "After the intervention of the social worker, many participants intervened. But, they have ultimately agreed to enroll these children from the next school year on..  


Our programmes in Abomey-Calavi, Dassa-Zoumé and Natitingou in Benin enable us to fulfil the rights of thousands of children. SOS Children’s Villages Benin is a member of Children's Villages International, operational in 133 countries and territories.