SOS children's villages threatened with closure
20/05/2019 22:21, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP)- The four SOS Children's Villages in Gammarth, Akouda (Sousse), Siliana and Mahrès (Sfax) are threatened with closure following the decision of the International Federation of SOS Children's Villages to withdraw its financial support.

These villages, which provide accommodation for 400 children without family support and care for 1,000 others in foster families, will face their future and must now develop their own financial sources.

Indeed, these villages are called upon to provide annual budgets of about 5 million dinars to be able to carry out their activities, if not these children risk being left to their own devices and facing an obscure future, said the leaders of the SOS village of Mahrès (Sfax), during a press briefing held on Sunday, on the occasion of the visit of a delegation of local media representatives.

They sounded the alarm in this situation, urging the State, donors and civil society to intervene to provide the necessary financial support for these villages to continue their mission.

The president of the association of SOS children's villages in Tunisia, Amel Ben Said Kmicha, described the situation as very critical, particularly in the absence of State aid, which provides only 1% of the needs of these villages.

It deplored the closure of 2 units in the SOS Mahrès village, 3 in the SOS Gammarth village and 6 in the SOS Siliana village, representing half of the total capacity of these centres, regretting the silence of the Prime Ministry and the Ministries of Women, Social Affairs and Finance in response to this situation.

Achref Saidi, director of the SOS Mahres village, mentioned the possibility of allowing the SOS village to benefit from the tax exemption conditions dedicated to cultural and social associations, which strengthens the resources of these centres.

A campaign called "Ramadan March for a Good Cause" was launched on the social network Facebook to raise donations. The objective is to collect the sum of 100 thousand dinars to set up a football field for the children of the SOS village of Mahres, he added.

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