Gode is located in the desert area of Ethiopia's Somali province, in the southeast of Ethiopia.
The economy is mainly dependent on agriculture and nomadic pastoralism. Gode was affected by severe drought in 1999, and famine and starvation have prevailed in the area ever since. The poor general state of health of the community and the high prevalence of malnutrition are the main reasons why this area has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country.
Most children in this community are unable to attend school, with only 12.79% of primary school-aged children enrolled at school. The situation at secondary school level is even worse, with an attendance rate of only 2.2%.
The site where SOS Children's Village Gode has been constructed, was donated by the Government of Ethiopia. Construction of SOS Children's Village Gode was finally completed in August 2004 after construction works had been going on for several years. This was due to the extremely difficult working conditions at the construction site. SOS Children's Village Gode is situated on the banks of the river Wabishebeelle, about two kilometres from the centre of Gode.
It comprises 12 family houses, the village director's house, accommodation for the SOS aunts (SOS aunts take care of the children when SOS mothers are on leave), a guesthouse, a workshop, and an administration and service area. A total of 120 children can be accommodated at this SOS Children's Village.
In September 2005, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary and Secondary School was opened. The school provides education for some 420 pupils from the SOS Children's Village and its vicinity. It comprises 12 classrooms, a library/computer room, a workshop, a canteen, a multi-purpose hall and administrative rooms.
The SOS Kindergarten, which is attached to the SOS Children's Village, was also officially opened in September 2005. It offers places for about 105 children. The SOS Kindergarten has a playground of its own.
In order to improve the basic health care situation in south-eastern Ethiopia, an SOS Medical Centre has been in operation on temporary premises since 2000. Construction of a permanent facility was started in January 2003 and finished in the autumn of 2005.
The SOS Medical Centre comprises a waiting hall/reception, three examination rooms, a pharmacy, a sterilisation room, and an administration area. About 4,300 people receive medical treatment at the SOS Medical Centre annually.