SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to grow up (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Botswana).

The Republic of Botswana is one of the most stable countries in Southern Africa. The discovery of diamonds brought relative prosperity to the country of two million people, and it has a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections. However, it also faces challenges. Most notably, Botswana has been affected by HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, inequalities remain high in spite of Botswana’s impressive economic growth, leaving many people in the country poor and malnourished.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Botswana since 1986.

Children are at risk

In Botswana, there are thousands of children with no parental care; most have lost care due to HIV/AIDS. Although the government is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS, human suffering remains high. Almost a quarter of 15-to 49-year-olds are infected. In addition, the economic impact of the disease is considerable, as it generally hits adults in their most economically productive years. Children without parental care often live in poverty, do not get enough food and rarely go to school.
Of children do not have parental care due to HIV/AIDS

Children without care

Botswana has the world’s third-highest HIV infection rate. According to UNICEF estimates, there are around 160,000 children without parental care living in Botswana: 120,000 of them have lost parental care due to AIDS. When their parents become ill, children take on more responsibility within the family or even end up heading households. Child-headed households are very vulnerable – as the children have to fend for themselves, they often lack adequate schooling.

Of Botswana’s population is poor


Despite Botswana’s astonishing economic growth in recent decades, inequality and poverty remain issues for some. 16 per cent of Botswana's population is poor, leading to limited access to food, shelter and other necessities. Access to decent sanitation facilities is generally good in urban areas, but this is not the case in some rural parts of the country.

1 in 3
Children under 5 are not growing healthily in Botswana


Almost one in three children under the age of five is stunted, meaning that they do not receive enough healthy food to develop. The main reason why children are not growing healthily is low birth weight. Furthermore, many children do not get the complimentary food with breastfeeding at a recommended age.

Together we can make a difference for children in Botswana

Can stay together
Grow up in our care
Children and young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Ketso steps out of the house and goes to school. Since the team from SOS Children’s Villages bought her uniform, her self-esteem has increased and she is always happy to go to school. Even though education in Botswana is free for the first 10 years, uniform is not. “I did very well last term because I have not missed any classes this year” says Ketso (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Botswana).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequality among countries
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and train parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives