Inhambane is situated on the eastern coast of Mozambique within the province of the same name. This quiet town was originally founded as a trading centre for both ivory and slaves during the colonial period, and it is now home to around 65,000 people.
The people of region mainly earn a living from agriculture, but the fishing and tourism industries are also relatively large. Despite the beautiful location, life is not easy for many people living here and poverty remains a key challenge.
Food for all
Though absolute poverty in and around Inhambane has shown a marked decrease - falling from 82.6% in 1996 to 57.9% in 2009 - times are only getting harder for subsistence farmers. They regularly struggle against flooding, drought and fluctuations in global fuel prices, which makes their lives extremely uncertain.
Modern farming methods would help people to cope with difficult conditions, but unfortunately few people are trained and even fewer have access to modern equipment. This insecure food supply affects children particularly badly, and around 34% of under fives suffer from malnutrition.
Chances to succeed are limited for the children of Inhambane. For a start very few people have a good standard of education. Only 1.3% completed secondary school and most are illiterate. Unsurprisingly, this limited education has led to high unemployment, which sits at about 40% throughout the region.
Just as worrying, is the limited access people have to healthcare and other basic public services. In rural areas only 2.4% of households have electricity, and infectious diseases continues to be a major problem. Perhaps most worryingly, out of over 300,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the province, only 5,370 are receiving treatment.
What do we offer the people of Inhambane?
We began our work in Inhambane in 2008, in response to the challenges children throughout the region face. Our work continues, and we aim to ensure every child has the chance to grow up happy and healthy.
Our SOS social centre is at the heart of an outreach programme. Every child should have the chance to grow up in a loving home with all the support they need from the own parents. Our family strengthening programme aims to make this a reality.
We provide a range of assistance, like nutritional and health services to ensure that all children get a healthy start.
A family environment for orphans
Sometimes children can no longer remain with their families. This can be for a variety of reasons, but we are committed to ensuring that it does not negatively affect their life chances. At our Children's Village we provide a loving family home for up to 150 children, and their SOS Mother gives them all the care they need.
Making friends is important, so all children from SOS families go to the SOS nursery along with children from the local community. They then go on to complete their primary and secondary education at the local school which was built by SOS Children but is now run by the Ministry of Education.
For children who have had the toughest start in life, we provide a sanctury at our Children's Village. Here they can grow up like any other child, with a family and secure home. Will you sponsor a child in Inhambane today?