Maputo is Mozambique's capital and largest city, with around 1.5 million residents. It is the economic heart of the country and its infrastructure is being constantly expanded to help cope with the growing population.
On the surface the people of Maputo seem to be doing well, public services, such as healthcare and education, are better here than anywhere else in Mozambique. However, the majority of the population continue to live in slums where life is hard and opportunities are limited.
Even from a top down perspective, life in Maputo is insecure. Poverty here has fluctuated massively in the past due to the price of commodities like food and fuel. This picture of instability becomes even more troubling when looking closer at the lives of the city's poor.
Formal and long-term employment is very hard to come by in Maputo and many people are forced to earn a living from whatever opportunity presents itself. Without a secure livelihood parents find it difficult to provide for their children and give them the opportunities that would help them flourish in the future.
Due to the relative wealth that exists in Maputo, as compared to the rest of the country, the inequality between different residents becomes particularly stark. The thousands of families who live in slums have little access to water or electricity, despite the rapid growth rate of the country as a whole.
Children from slums often suffer from marginalisation and stigmatisation due to their perceived inferiority within society. This extreme inequality is very damaging and could mean that thousands are denied the opportunity to succeed.
SOS Children's work in Maputo
We began working in Maputo in 1992, and today we continue to work directly with the local community to ensure that all children have a fair chance in life.
Keeping families together
Our family strengthening programme aims to support families in caring for their children, and is targeted at those most at risk of breaking down.
Not only do we offer practical services, like a number of community nurseries and nutritional programmes, but we also give advice and counselling to help people overcome challenges.
Once SOS Mothers are trained, they take in and care for children who cannot stay with their parents within SOS Children's Villages throughout the country. Some will end up as a mother to one of 15 SOS families in Maputo.
The children who are taken into SOS families are given all the love and affection they need to thrive now, and in the future. They attend the SOS primary and secondary school with around 1200 other students, which allows them to make friends and learn social skills.
When children from SOS families are old enough, they can move into accommodation that is provided by the SOS youth programme. Here, they are supported by qualified counsellors whilst they undertake further education or training and begin their adult lives.
When a child is orphaned and abandoned, we offer them hope and care at our Children's Village in Maputo. Will you sponsor a child in need today?