Located on the Zambezi River, Tete is an important coal-mining city in west-central Mozambique. Due to its growing economy an increasing number of people are moving to the city in search of work.In 2007, the city had a population of 156,000 and ten years later, the population has almost doubled to 307,000.Despite the success of the local coal mining industry, the majority of families in Tete have not benefitted from the growing economy. The rapid expansion of the mines has led to the displacement of whole communities. Housing conditions are poor and most homes lack safe water and sanitation facilities.
Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tete.
HIV/AIDS rates are high in the area, with the illness leaving many families without their main provider.
In order to support their families, many children are forced to work to contribute to the household income. Tete Province has the highest rate of child labour across Mozambique, with 17% of children working in places such as mines or tobacco farms.
Many more children are forced to miss school in order to help their families in domestic duties, such as collecting water or firewood.
Families in Tete Province live in some of the worst housing conditions in Mozambique.
Most children live in homes with no electricity or safe sanitation facilities, and many families have more than four people living in one room.
Growing up in poverty means that children in Tete are not given the opportunity to live a carefree childhood in a comfortable home. Without electricity, children cannot read or do their homework when it is dark, and without hygienic sanitation facilities, children are at risk of catching fatal diseases.