Chipata is in Zambia’s Eastern Province. The town is a deprived area where HIV/AIDS, disease and poverty have left many children alone. One in every six children in Chipata is an orphan. Child-headed households are extremely vulnerable and often live in desperate poverty.
Construction has just been completed on our charity’s new SOS Children’s Village. The site consists of 13 homes, where children with no one to care for them will be raised as part of families headed by SOS mothers. The Village has a Nursery and a Medical Centre, as well as a medical bus which travels around providing life-saving treatments for the local community.
Clare Mulenga-Chilambo is the Village Director in Chipata, and has been involved in identifying vulnerable children who will grow up in the Village. 52 children have already been found from the local communities. Clare says: “They are aged from two months to six years. The children are mostly orphans whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS-related diseases. We also have cases of children whose mothers are mentally disturbed and one case of an abandoned baby.”
SOS mothers completed their training at an existing SOS Children’s Village in Zambia, located in Kitwe, and are living here until they move into the new Village with their new families in early September. The official opening of the Village will take place on 10th October, where local, national and international guests will celebrate our work in Chipata.
Clare is looking forward to the children moving in: “When the children arrive at the Village we will ensure that the children are given a warm welcome and made to feel safe. In time they will come to recognise the Village as their home – a normal family environment. We appreciate that the children have had a very difficult start in life which is why SOS mothers will be able to ensure that the children are well treated and cared for. I am hopeful that with the help of staff, they will adapt quickly and get to love their new home.”
John and Rose
Five-year-old John and his two-year old sister Rose live in a small Village close to Chipata. After their mother died of a HIV-related disease and their father left, the children were alone. Their aunt began caring for the children, but is unable to continue caring for them in the long-term. The pair will come to live in the same SOS family in the new Children’s Village and can look forward to a brighter future.
Just three-months-old, Audrey was found abandoned on a field by a local couple. The couple searched for her parents or guardian, but it was clear the baby had been abandoned. Although the couple would like to care for the child they named Audrey, they are peasant farmers and cannot afford to take on the expense of a child. Audrey will find a new home at the SOS Children’s Village in Chipata, and be able to grow up in a loving home with a good education.
Read more about how you can get involved and Be part of Chipata.