SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Zambia).

The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa and home to around 19 million people. The population is growing rapidly, and although birth rates are falling, Zambia's birth rate is one of the highest in the world - women have an average of 4.6 children. Despite recent progress, Zambia is still one of the poorest countries in Africa. In addition, inequality between rich and poor and between urban and rural areas is increasing.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Zambia since 1996.

Children are at risk

The children in Zambia face a difficult life. They suffer high levels of violence. In fact, 34% of women and 40% of men have experienced physical violence as children. In addition, about 10% of children have lost one or both parents, making them particularly vulnerable to risks such as child labour and early marriage. Malnutrition is a problem, and if children do not get the nutritious food they need, they are more likely to contract preventable diseases. COVID-19 has worsened the already precarious situation of many children.
Of Zambians living in rural areas are poor

Widespread poverty

About 44% of Zambians live in poverty. This means that children are very likely to be malnourished, to drop out of school early and to live in houses without clean drinking water, sanitation or electricity. Families living in rural areas are more likely to be poor. Most of them have to live off the food they grow themselves.

Of children attend secondary school


Overall, the number of children attending primary school has increased in recent years. Today, 74% of all children in Zambia complete primary school. However, only 43% attend secondary school. This is due to the high costs and the fact that children have to work for the family to contribute to the family income. According to UNICEF, 23% of children are involved in child labour.

Of children are affected by stunting


In some ways, the health of Zambian children is improving. The infant mortality rate is steadily decreasing. However, there is a greater need for antenatal care and postnatal care. Malnutrition is often the cause of many child health problems and deaths. Many diseases could be prevented or are treatable if families could afford it.

Together we can make a difference for children in Zambia

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
The family of origin is the best place for a child to grow up. Thanks to your support, families in Zambia can stay together through our locally contextualized family strengthening services (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Zambia).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and train parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives