Cape Town

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages South Africa).

With a population of almost four million, Cape Town is South Africa’s second most populous city and the capital of the Western Cape. Many people in the country migrate to the city in hope of a better life. However, they often end up being unemployed and living in very poor conditions in informal settlements. Many families do not have access to safe drinking water or electricity, nor can they provide an education for their children. Inequalities based on race and ethnicity are the norm. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is a real problem in the city, even more so than in many other parts of the country.

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cape Town.

Of households are poor

Widespread poverty

Cape Town has grown steadily over the years. Most of the internal migrants who come here settle in one of the townships around the city. Cape Town consists of just over 900,000 households and over 100,000 of these are informal settlements. Overall, 39% of households live below the poverty line. Many are unable to meet their basic needs such as clean drinking water, adequate sanitation or electricity. Inequalities based on race and ethnicity are felt everywhere. While half of white households have internet at home, only 3% of black African households do. Crime rates are very high in many areas and children growing up here are at high risk.

5 in 10
Young South Africans are unemployed

High youth unemployment

Although unemployment is relatively low compared to other South African cities, it has increased in Cape Town in recent years. About 29% of people in the city are out of work. Among young people aged 15-24, unemployment is even higher, with about 5 in 10 young people unemployed. This is because many young people drop out of school and therefore do not have the necessary skills to find a decent job. It is estimated that about one million children in South Africa live in a household where no adult can read and write.

Your support makes a difference for children in Cape Town

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Family members having fun together. Children form bonds with their family as they grow up that last a lifetime. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages South Africa).

How your support helps in Cape Town

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.