As the capital of Mozambique, Maputo is the vibrant cultural centre of the country. More than 1.1 million people live in the coastal city, making it the biggest in Mozambique. In the city, there are many more opportunities for children to go to school and receive medical care than in rural areas of Mozambique. However for many children and families, it can be an isolating environment. Malnutrition and low school attendance are common, with many children in Maputo at high risk of being left behind by the rapidly developing city.
Since 1992, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Maputo.
Food shortages across Mozambique mean that many children are not given the nutritious diet that they need to grow up healthily: 34% of children in Maputo city are malnourished.
Food shortages are frequent due to extreme weather changes that destroy vital crops.
Growing one’s own food is not an option within the city, and so people here rely heavily on a cash income. This is hard for vulnerable families to secure, especially single-parent families.
Although Maputo is a relatively modern city, the inequality between the rich and the poor is substantial. New infrastructure is being developed constantly, but many families continue to live in run-down, overcrowded housing.
The families with lowest incomes often find themselves trapped in poverty. Many people move to the city in search of work, but stable jobs are difficult to get. Without a steady income, families are often unable to live comfortably in the city, butdo not have the means to move away.