SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a rapidly growing population of 15 million. It is located on the western border along the Congo River. Kinshasa is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa – however, urban development struggles to keep up. Inhabitants live with frequent violence, heavy pollution and poor health care. While Kinshasa is a major exporter of natural resources such as copper, the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains dependent on volatile global commodity markets. The tense political climate continues to discourage investment and impedes economic growth.

Since 2010, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in Kinshasa.

New residents settled in Kinshasa every year

Development struggles to keep up

Due to a rapidly growing population that increasingly moves to urban centres, cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have seen intense growth. Kinshasa's growth is astonishing: between 2000 and 2020, an average of 410,000 people moved to the city each year. Most of the inhabitants are young and live in poverty. Uncontrollable urbanization means that they often fall into the ‘poverty trap’. Gang is also a serious problem as the urban security management lags behind. To reduce the number of children and young people left to fend for themselves, vulnerable families need support and assistance to access health services and acquire vocational skills and education.

Children under 14 receiving antiretroviral treatment

HIV/AIDS affects the vulnerable

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, epidemic outbreaks, like HIV/AIDS, are a major threat, especially for women and children. The conflict-ridden past decades have made it difficult to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. As large numbers of the population are constantly displaced, obtaining adequate health care can be difficult for many families. Many children have themselves become affected by the virus. A reported number of 21,700 children (aged 0-14 years) are receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART). Children whose parents suffer from HIV/AIDS or other illnesses account for another large group of children at risk of losing parental care since medical treatment is not widely available.

Your support makes a difference for children in Kinshasa

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children have fun riding bikes together. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

How your support helps in Kinshasa

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 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.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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. Some families live in the community, along other families from the neighbourhoods. 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.