SOS Children in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe used to have one of the best education systems in Africa. Economic problems changed living conditions in the country and now millions are desperately poor. We help some of the poorest children in Zimbabwe – those without family and those at risk of losing their family.
We care for orphans like Esther and Tino, who were featured in the BBC documentary 'Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children'. With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Zimbabwe by sponsoring a child:
Living with the impact of HIV/AIDS
With a prevalence rate of 15%, the percentage of people with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe is one of the highest in the world. Of the 1.4 million living with the disease, around 180,000 are children.
Whilst many in Zimbabwe are literate due to the country’s former educational excellence, now around nine in ten schools are closed and young children can miss out on an education. For many when schooling is available it is unaffordable. In rural areas, about 2 million people do not have access to improved water sources as many pumps do not work.
Children in Zimbabwe
- Due to a lack of available resources, regulations that protect children in Zimbabwe are not always enforced.
- Underage marriage is reportedly common in rural areas. Rape and sexual abuse against children are also reported.
- In Zimbabwe, over a hundred children die every day from diseases that are easily curable in more developed nations.
- There are approximately 1.2 million orphans in Zimbabwe, around a million of the total have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. A high number of orphaned children grow up with HIV/AIDS.
Our charity work in Zimbabwe
Meet Esther and Tino, two siblings who were left orphaned after their parents dids of AIDS. Their story was featured on BBC2's 'Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children'. Here are a few extracts from the documentary, which reveal the happy ending in SOS Children's Village Waterfalls.
We built our first community in Zimbabwe in 1983 to help children who had lost their parents in the struggle for independence. The SOS Children's Village Bindura is in the Mozowe valley, about 50 miles north of the capital of Harare. It has 15 family houses and seven SOS Youth Homes: three in the Village and four in nearby Chipadzi. The SOS Nursery, which offers full day care, together with the well established SOS Primary and Secondary Schools, are open to nearly 2,000 children from both the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood.
Since 2003, Family Strengthening Programmes have been co-ordinated, offering access to essential services for children’s development and supporting families to protect and care for their children. The programmes reach out to over 3,000 children a year and provide them and their families with food, school fees, basic medical treatment, counselling and psychosocial support.
In 1989, we opened SOS Children's Village Waterfalls in a suburb of Harare. Up to 180 children can find a new home in the 15 family houses and each family has its own garden to grow fruits and vegetables. In order to meet the needs of the growing number of youths who had outgrown the SOS Children's Village, eight SOS Youth Home were established in 1998, where up to 100 youths can stay during higher education or further training and prepare themselves for an independent life. The Village is also home to two hospice houses for SOS children and staff suffering from AIDS. The SOS Nursery and SOS Primary School are open to local children.
We opened a community in 1995 in the capital of Matabeleland Province, Bulawayo. The SOS Children's Village is located on the banks of the river Matsheumhlope in the Matabeleland Province and enjoys the advantages of the infrastructure of the city: local secondary schools and markets are within easy reach. It has 15 family houses and ten SOS Youth Homes. The SOS Nursery and SOS Primary School provide for the educational needs of local children as well as the SOS children.
The Village also offers Family Strengthening Programmes which help link families with income generating activities and offer help to improve the parents’ parenting skills to provide a better future for their children.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Zimbabwe: Edward's story
Child-headed households are an increasingly common occurrence in Zimbabwe. Here is the story of one such family and how they came to live at SOS Children's Village Bindura.
Edward and his three young brothers, Sibanda, Takawira and Thomas were orphaned at a young age. With no-one to care for them, it fell to Edward to care for his brothers. He was just 10 years old. Food was incredibly scarce and this little family rapidly became destitute. Sadly, despite the help of neighbours, his youngest brother, Thomas, died.
The boys’ plight was brought to the attention SOS Children's Village Bindura and they were quickly welcomed into house mbizi, which means “zebra” in Shona, by SOS mother Patricia Nembire. Under Patricia’s care these little boys have slowly but surely recovered from the trauma of living in desperate poverty. Patricia says that right from the beginning the boys were well behaved and polite. "The boys mix easily with others. They are very responsible boys and Edward enjoys helping me in the garden."
"I'm very happy to be in a home with my two brothers and SOS family members - I'm happy to be back at school after so long!" says Edward. “I love spending time in the garden and playing football with my friends.” Although at times, Edward would still like to be the one making the decisions for his brothers, he is happy to relinquish the difficult responsibilities and enjoy his childhood. All three of the brothers are flourishing in their new family.
SOS Children's Village Association of Zimbabwe
P.O.Box HG 766
Tel: +263/4/746 451, +263/4/746 452, +263/4/746 453
Fax: +263/4/746 454