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

Kitwe is located in the Copperbelt region of Zambia, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a growing city and an important commercial and industrial centre. About 738,000 people live in Kitwe. In the past, most people lived from mining, but as this has declined, families have had to find other ways to earn a living. This has affected the children, which is why about 100,000 children in Kitwe now live in abject poverty. Many more are at risk because they have lost or are at risk of losing the care of their families.

Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kitwe.

Of children live in poverty in the region

Urban poverty

The decline of mining meant that it became more difficult for many people to find regular work and earn a stable income. For this reason, in the Copperbelt region, where Kitwe is located, about 33% of children live in poverty. Members of families living in poverty are often self-employed or seek precarious employment in the informal sector. They often live in overcrowded settlements and have limited access to electricity, clean water or medical care. Children living in these conditions are often at risk of dropping out of school and having to work to support their families.

Of children are affected by stunting

Lack of nutritious food

About 48% of children in the Copperbelt province are not getting the nutrition they need to grow and develop healthily. Many families rely on maize meal, which does not contain all the nutrients children need. Families with insecure jobs usually rely on what is available in nearby markets or small shops. When prices are high or there is a shortage of food, children have to go without food. As a result, the children are more likely to suffer from deficiencies and fall ill more quickly.

Your support makes a difference for children in Kitwe

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
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children are excited to learn how to use laptops for school assignments. SOS Children’s Villages cooperates with education authorities, schools and community organizations. Together they ensure free and equitable access to quality education that equips children with values and skills (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Zambia).

How your support helps in Kitwe

Strengthening vulnerable 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 trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start 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.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.