The provincial capital of Mashonaland Central, Bindura is home to around 40,000 people. The region around the town is predominantly rural, but nonetheless densely populated.
The city itself is largely a mining town, with copper, nickel and cobalt representing the majority of the industry. For the small-scale farmers that populate this region, life is often very hard and the cost of living high.
Redistribution fails to tackle land inequality
Land inequality has plagued Zimbabwe for many years; an issue the government has sought to address through agricultural reforms. Most prominently, the Fast-track Land Resettlement Programme has aimed to reduce overcrowding and the resulting strain on resources in many rural areas.
The scheme works by removing land from wealthy - often white - farmers, and reallocating it to landless tenant farmers. Unsurprisingly, this has been hugely controversial and very unpopular amongst many, sometimes resulting in violent protest.
At the same time, the true benefit to the country's poor is hotly contested. As big farms are stripped of their assets, many downscale, or even cease to operate commercially, and consequently farm labourers lose their jobs. On top of this, allegations of corruption and unfair land redistribution have been levelled at the government.
Children lack healthcare and education
Key facilities such as schools and hospitals are very limited in Bindura, and basic infrastructure such as plumbing and electricity is patchy. Staff shortages restrict the provincial hospital, and many can only get healthcare at local clinics. HIV/AIDS is widespread in Bindura, and the state of medical care means that many of those in desperate need of treatment and medication go without.
New schools have opened as people have come to the region. But schools alone do not ensure a high standard of education. Many lack classrooms and furniture, while others have too few teachers or textbooks, and some do not even have a reliable electricity supply or running water.
For many families, the nearest school is simply too far away for children to attend. For small farmers, business is often on the verge of collapse, and children are kept home to work. The long-term consequences can be devastating; without education, children have no route out of generational poverty.
What are we doing to help?
SOS Children has been helping families in Bindura since 1983.
Every child needs a family
At the heart of our work across the region is our Children's Village. Here, those who can no longer live with their families can find a loving home with an SOS family under the care of an SOS Mother. As they progress through childhood, they receive all the opportunities they need to thrive.
When they are ready to leave the Village, we support them through this key transitional stage, providing support as they undertake vocational training or higher education.
The educational journey
Children need to learn to escape the cycle of poverty. Our nursery brings together children from the Village and the wider community. Our two primary schools provide a diverse and colourful introduction education to more than 2,000 children from across the neighbourhood, and pupils complete their educational journey at our primary school.
Many families in Bindura struggle due to the area's severe lack of facilities. That's why we provide support to more than 3,000 children every year from our social centres throughout the region. Based in three key locations - Bindura, nearby Waerera, and also Maizeland Farm - these centres provide much-needed healthcare.
This varies widely depending on the needs of individuals, and includes preventative care such as vaccinations, treatment and support for families suffering from HIV/AIDS, and nutritional help for malnourished children.
Helping families achieve independence
The best way children can thrive is by growing up in self-sufficient, independent families.This is why we help many families work for a sustainable income by starting and growing businesses. This way, they achieve the dignity of supporting themselves without the need for outside help, and are better able to provide for children's needs.
Whether working in the community to support the vulnerable, or caring for young people in our Children's Village, SOS Children is there for families right across Bindura.