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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe once had one of Africa's finest education systems, but a declining economy hit living standards, throwing many into hardship and limiting opportunities for children. At our three SOS Children's Villages, we help vulnerable children flourish through the very best care, education and healthcare. … more about our charity work in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children: Charity gets much needed boost

SOS Children working in the family veg patch
SOS Children working in the family veg patch

On Tuesday 31st August, BBC2 re-aired a moving documentary called "Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children" describing the plight of children growing up in very difficult circumstances in Zimbabwe.

The programme featured a little of the work of SOS Children in Zimbabwe and resulted in a surge of new online child sponsorships for Zimbabwe (100 overnight on Tuesday and more coming all the time) which make a big difference to a few precious lives. SOS Children has been quietly working in Zimbabwe since 1983 and has three children's villages in Bulawayo, Bindura and Waterfalls.

Our families try to grow as much of their own food as possible (see photo of family happily working the vegetable patch together). We also run a small farm in Maizelands to help feed our children. Our programmes are steadily and thoughtfully growing as resources allow, but the need is enormous. Documentaries like the one broadcast by the BBC are upsetting to watch but reflect the reality there (to the extent that sometimes we get reports to the UK which we consider too distressing to publish) and we are very grateful to all those whom react positively to make a few lives so much better.

In each of the three Villages we have over a hundred orphaned children, whom we care for in our family homes. In each location we support more than two thousand children in the neighbourhood through "family strengthening programmes", which help child headed families and families who have lost their breadwinner to AIDS in the vicinity of the villages. This includes trying to get the affected children some sort of education, as well as nutrition, health and somewhere to live. Priority is given to children who have lost both parents and now live with grandparents, older siblings or other relatives, as well as those whose parents are seriously ill.

We also run short term emergency programmes to deal with crisis like the January 2009 Cholera epidemic. Much of our ongoing costs in Zimbabwe is covered by child sponsorship of the children who live in our Children's Villages. If a sponsorship of £20/month is too great a commitment smaller monthly direct debits "for Zimbabwe" are also welcome and we do not make UK deductions from donations or sponsorships for a specified location.

Find out how you can help children in Zimbabwe, like Esther and Tino from the documentary (who now live at SOS Children's Village Bindura) by sponsoring an SOS Children's Village in Zimbabwe.