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

Uvira is located in South Kivu province at the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Though it is a region with significant reserves of natural resources, the majority of its half a million inhabitants live in poverty and do not have stable employment. Due to their strategic military location, civilians in North and South Kivu suffer frequent attacks by armed groups and government forces. A lack of adequate health and education services mean that thousands of children are undernourished and without access to schooling.

Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Uvira

People are affected by heavy floods in South Kivu

Natural disasters affect families

Living and working in Uvira is full of challenges due to the lack of infrastructure and frequent natural disasters like flooding. This can mean an inconsistent supply of safe drinking water and electricity. Torrential rains in April 2020 caused heavy floods in the South Kivu province and left 80,000 people affected. The local community and a large population of displaced people compete for limited resources. When water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities are damaged by floods, the risk of disease increases. By September 2020, South Kivu was the first province to report the highest number of suspected cases of cholera (5,232) that year.

Of children are chronically malnourished in the region

Children at risk of malnutrition

Across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, child mortality and malnutrition are high. 48% of children are chronically malnourished in the province of South Kivu. Factors driving food insecurity include conflict and political insecurity, which trigger displacement and loss of livelihoods for families. In turn, weather extremes, diseased crops and economic crises undermine food production. Moreover, public health crises, such as Ebola, measles and cholera exacerbate food insecurity. Improvements to roads, agriculture, healthcare and sanitation are necessary to combat food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Children and young people must attend school and trainings to flourish in these difficult circumstances.

Your support makes a difference for children in Uvira

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Learning to make baskets is one of the many useful skills children and young people in our care develop in order to become independent when they grow up (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Democratic Republic of the Congo)

How your support helps in Uvira

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.
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.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
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.