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

Maseru is the capital city of Lesotho and is located in the northeast of the country, close to the border with South Africa. It has grown rapidly over recent years: around 330, 000 people live in the city today. However, rapid urbanization has resulted in unplanned settlements with limited access to sanitation facilities and safe drinking water. Families coming to Maseru in search of work often remain unemployed and live in poverty. Rising food and fuel prices and disrupted trade of goods and services as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine have taken a toll on the economy. Like in other parts of Lesotho, HIV/AIDS also continues to pose a major challenge in Maseru.

Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Maseru.

1 in 3
Families live in poverty in Maseru

Poor living conditions

In recent years, vast numbers of people have migrated to the city of Maseru in search for work. However, many remain unemployed. Furthermore, rapid urbanization has put increased pressure on basic services and facilities in the city. Many people end up living in unplanned settlements with poor housing and limited access to sanitation and clean drinking water. It is estimated that around 1 in 3 families living in Maseru is poor. Parents struggle to provide their children with enough nutritious food – many are forced to leave school at an early age.

Of people in Maseru are living with HIV

Health risks

Similar to other areas of the country, many people living in the densely populated city of Maseru live with HIV. In fact, at an estimated infection rate of 40%, the proportion of people living with the virus is much higher than the national average for Lesotho. In addition, poor living conditions and lack of clean water supply in some parts of the city increase the risk of other infectious diseases. Tuberculosis is also widespread, and around 40% of people receiving treatment for HIV also have tuberculosis.

Your support makes a difference for children in Maseru

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.
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergarten and school
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Brothers enjoying some time outdoors while helping each other with schoolwork. We work hard to make sure that children stay at school for as long as possible (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Lesotho).

How your support helps in Maseru

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. 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.