The project aimed to enable 60 vulnerable families from three villages (Oco-Maundé, Coiada and Tchumuel) to improve their livelihoods by developing income-generating activities. The goal was to prevent the migration, trafficking and/or exploitation of young children. The families received training in organic farming methods to improve their skills and the yields of their gardens; farming surplus was sold to generate income. The project also provided educational activities for vulnerable children and youths in the villages.

At the end of the project, 150 families had benefited at no additional cost. Families established community gardens in each village, growing a variety of nutritious vegetables, alternating with rice, maize and peanuts during the rainy season. Produce from the gardens was first and foremost used by the families, enabling them to eat three meals a day. The families were able to increase their average monthly income by $86/month thanks to the sale of farming surplus. The increased income enabled all families to pay for their children to attend primary school. In each village, youths were trained to lead variety of educational activities (drama, football, debates, races) each week as proposed and planned with other youths.

International Social Service, Switzerland (ISS) is a Swiss network of social workers and lawyers globally active in support of children and young people in vulnerable situations.



Health / Education / Environment / Community Development


May 2015 - September 2018


Guinea- Bissau

With whom

International Social Service, Switzerland (ISS) 


Guinea- Bissau

1.9 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 660/year ( 2011)

Poverty rate *
69% (2010)

Literacy rate
46% (2016)

Human Development Index
177th out of 189 countries (2018)

Guinea-Bissau has suffered from political instability since its independence in 1974. This has resulted in a lack of development and high levels of poverty, with over two-thirds of the population live under the poverty line. Many women still die during childbirth. Despite progress in reducing its child mortality rate, one in 10 children still die before reaching the age of 5 and 28% of all children under 5 are moderately to severely malnourished. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, malaria and TB continue to advance, resulting in a particularly low life expectancy. Education for all is progressing slowly although the quality of education remains poor and is compounded by a severe shortage of teachers and resources.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.