At SOS Children’s Villages we work in 136 countries and territories, across all 5 continents. Worldwide, we run 559 Children’s Village communities, 713 youth programmes and 452 schools and vocational training centres, working with local staff who specialise in healthcare, education and child welfare.
Here at SOS Children’s Villages UK our work is far reaching as we support projects across the world. We have a special relationship with 2 village communities in Basse, The Gambia and in Chipata, Zambia. The construction of our Basse village and nursery school were largely funded by a legacy gift from one generous UK supporter, while our village community in Chipata was funded through the generosity of some of our most committed major donors, including the British section of the International Friendship League.
Chipata is the capital of Zambia’s East Province, located near the border with Malawi. It has a population of around 450,000 and over 50 percent of people live in extreme poverty, without access to sufficient food or clean drinking water.
SOS Children’s Villages began working in Chipata in 2011. The SOS Children’s Village community in the region provides long-term family-like care to more than one hundred children. 13 SOS families can provide a loving home for up to 130 children. We also work within the wider community to alleviate hardship. Our nursery school, medical centre and social centre provide essential health and nutritional services, income generating skills, education and vocational training and psycho-social support. Around 600 children and their families benefit from this programme.
In addition to the medical centre, a mobile clinic travels to nearby communities providing basic medical care, preventive medicine and voluntary testing and counselling for those affected by HIV/AIDS. The mobile clinic treats up to 2,000 patients every year.
Basse, The Gambia
Basse is an important town for trade, located at the brink of the Gambia river. Children and young people make up almost half of the population. But with limited access to education, it is common for young people to start work and marry early. SOS Children’s Village Basse seeks to reach as many of these orphaned and vulnerable children as possible and help them to a obtain a life where they can feel secure and loved.
Since 2007, children with no one to care for them can find a loving home with 1 of the 12 SOS families in Basse. Under the care and love of an SOS mother, the children grow up together with siblings in a family environment, where they can experience just being a child. They also have access to quality education through nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Since 2010, SOS Children’s Village Basse also runs a social centre which reaches out to vulnerable families in the area to prevent these families from breaking apart. We work with these families on an individual basis to ensure they are getting the support that they need, whether that’s food packages, medical care or educational resources.