SOS Children’s Village Waterfalls is located in the Waterfalls suburb of Harare. Harare is Zimbabwe’s capital and largest city, with a population of over 1.6 million and 2.8 million in its metropolitan area.
Life in Zimbabwe's capital has always been difficult for families facing economic hardship, but in the last decade it has become even more difficult. Disadvantaged children and youth have to fight for survival every day and face a very uncertain future.
Since 1989, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Waterfalls.
The number of people living in extreme poverty has increased in the last years: 39% of people living in Harare, where Waterfalls is located, live in extreme poverty.
The lack of work and rising prices mean that many families cannot buy food or go to the doctor as both are too expensive. For children, this has particularly severe consequences, as they are not only exposed to malnutrition, but often also have to deal with easily treatable diseases that go untreated.
In Waterfalls, 1,700 children have lost both parents. In many cases, parents have died due to HIV/AIDS or to other treatable diseases.
Children who have no parental care have to fend for themselves. As a result, many of them have no chance to get an education - instead they work in the informal sector and cannot escape the vivious cycle of poverty.