Support for students at the Ecole Secondaire des Métiers d’Art in Abomey-Calavi

“My art, my protection!”: strengthening child protection through art and music


Photo gallery of the project

SOS Children’s Villages in Benin has been involved for more than 20 years in the vocational training of young people and the promotion of children’s rights through the Ecole Secondaire des Métiers d’Art that it set up in Abomey-Calavi. This school, known as ESMA, is the only technical secondary art school in the country.

Developed within ESMA, a project entitled “My art, my protection!” financed by SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde Luxembourg was launched on 3 March 2023. Its aim is to build the capacity of students to help reduce cases of child abuse and violence in the Republic of Benin through the visual arts, the oral arts and music. Armed with a solid education, ESMA graduates will have a better chance of finding a job that will enable them to support themselves independently.

The project targets the school as a whole, and in particular children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. Supervised by professional artists and craftspeople, the students are encouraged to express themselves and are made aware of their rights throughout their training. This gives them the independence and vigilance they need to be more secure in the face of abuse and violence in their communities.




  • Direct beneficiaries: 200 children and young people (97 girls) from vulnerable families
  • Indirect beneficiaries: 50 adult participants, 2,000 children and young people and 400 carers (tutors) will also be reached through the works of art produced by the young people and the awareness-raising sessions organised by ESMA as part of the project.


carte du Bénin


The “My art, my protection” project has three main focuses:

  • Renewal of ESMA’s equipment and materials
  • Training children and young people to produce quality art
  • Raising people’s awareness of child protection issues by using works of art as communication channels.

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