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HIV/AIDS is responsible for more than half of Zambia's 1.4 million orphans, and it is one of our key focuses here. We work in Lusaka and 3 other locations to provide medical treatment and ongoing support for families affected by the virus, as well as a loving home for children who cannot live with their families. … more about our charity work in Zambia

Supporting communities in Zambia

Mama Florence and her expanding family of nine children at the SOS Village in Chipata
Mama Florence and her expanding family of nine children at the SOS Village in Chipata

SOS Children have been present in Zambia since 1996 and provide a variety of necessary services both within the SOS Villages and the surrounding communities. Here we examine the impact of the different threads that form the basis of our work in Zambia and how this support echoes throughout communities.

First, we focus on Mama Florence, an SOS mother at the Chipata Village. And then, we take a look at how the SOS medical bus is helping six isolated communities in Zambia.  

A big sister hugs her younger sister in Chipata
Ten year old Sarah hugs her new SOS sister Debbie in Mama Florence's house in Chipata

Mama Florence’s expanding family

Not every child who arrives at an SOS Village is able to settle and adapt so quickly, some children are in such desperate need of medical attention that their road to life takes a little longer. When four-year-old Simon joined Mama Florence’s family she observed that he was severely malnourished, “He is very little for his age. His baby brother is bigger than him.”

As a result, his growth has been stunted and he is only just learning to talk. Mama Florence at the SOS Children’s Village in Chipata, Zambia, recently saw her SOS family grow with the addition of three high-achieving sisters. The three sisters boosted the number in Mama Florence’s care to nine and have rapidly settled in to life in the Village and at their new SOS school, although not without the occasional sibling squabble.

Cases from the medical bus

Cosmas Lunga and his dedicated team tour Chipata district in the SOS Medical Bus helping children under 15 who do not have access to sufficient medical care. When the bus arrives in town, local women and their children quickly gather. Despite the necessity of the bus and the obvious concern of many in attendance, the mood is respectful as families patiently wait their turn. As he tours Chipata in the SOS Medical Bus, he believes in dispensing simple but highly-effective advice alongside medicine.

Mother and child visit medical centre in Zambia
Baby Golden and his mother Anna pay a visit to Cosmas Lunga and the medical bus team

We have already examined three cases from the medical bus so it’s time to check in with Cosmas Lunga and the team once more:

Three-month-old Linda had been coughing and sneezing a lot so her mother, Sarah, stops by the bus to see Cosmas. Sarah initially travelled 5 kilometres to a state medical facility, but they were unable to treat her daughter. Having reassured Sarah that Linda’s case is not serious, Cosmas prescribes painkillers to correct her temperature and cough syrup to ease her throat.

27-year-old Anna has five children, two of whom are with her today – 7-month-old Golden and 10-year-old Philip. Golden has been excreting blood and Cosmas suspects he knows the cause. Cosmas asks if the children ever play in the river, which Philip shyly nods, confirming Cosmas' suspicions. Golden is diagnosed with bilharzia which is caused by parasites found in freshwater. Having prescribed the correct medicine and urged Anna to take Golden to a clinic if he is not showing improvement in three days, Cosmas is ready to move onto his next patient.

BBC Radio 4 Appeal to raise funds for Zambia 

Renowned author, Alexander McCall Smith, is presenting our first ever charity appeal on BBC Radio 4 to raise funds for vulnerable children and families in Zambia. He will tell the story of two orphaned twin girls who joined the SOS Children’s Village in Chipata, Zambia when they were just five days old.

Tune into the SOS Children's Villages charity appeal on BBC Radio 4 on:

  • Sunday, 30th August 7:55am or 9:26pm 
  • Thursday, 3rd September at 3:27pm

Our appeal on BBC Radio 4 was a success. Thank you to everyone who supported the appeal. Find out more about our community outreach programme.