Located only 95km from the Zimbabwean border, Chimoio is a popular city in south-central in Mozambique. Around 373,000 people live in the city, and due to its central location and railway connections, it is a commercial and industrial centre. It is also the capital city of Manica Province, where Mount Binga, the highest mountain in Mozambique, is located.Hardship is a daily reality for the children of Chimoio and the surrounding region, with almost 40% of people in the area living in poverty. Most children live in unsuitable housing without basic facilities such as electricity or a hygienic toilet.
Since 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Chimoio.
Due to high rates of HIV/AIDS in the area, many children are left to fend for themselves. When the adults in the family are too ill to work, children have to take over the role of carer and provider.
Many chidlren have been left without parental care. In fact, 16% of young children in the region have lost either one or both of their parents.
When children in Mozambique lose parental care, they are often sent to foster families where they are at risk of being mistreated or exploited as household servants.
In the region where Chimoio is located, 79% of children do not have access to proper sanitation facilities at home.
This means that most children use latrines or makeshift toilets where there is no hygienic disposal or separation between the child and the waste.
Without proper sanitation, children are at risk of fatal infectious diseases. These conditions lead to the spread of infectious diseases such as diarrheal disease, which is one of the main causes of infant death.