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

The Republic of Botswana is one of the most stable countries in Southern Africa. The discovery of diamonds brought relative prosperity to the country of two million people, and it has a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections. However, it also faces challenges. Most notably, Botswana has been affected by HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, inequalities remain high in spite of Botswana’s impressive economic growth, leaving many people in the country poor and malnourished.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Botswana since 1986.

Children are at risk

In Botswana, there are thousands of children with no parental care; most have lost care due to HIV/AIDS. Although the government is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS, human suffering remains high. Almost a quarter of 15-to 49-year-olds are infected. In addition, the economic impact of the disease is considerable, as it generally hits adults in their most economically productive years. Children without parental care often live in poverty, do not get enough food and rarely go to school.
Of children do not have parental care due to HIV/AIDS

Children without care

Botswana has the world’s third-highest HIV infection rate. According to UNICEF estimates, there are around 160,000 children without parental care living in Botswana: 120,000 of them have lost parental care due to AIDS. When their parents become ill, children take on more responsibility within the family or even end up heading households. Child-headed households are very vulnerable – as the children have to fend for themselves, they often lack adequate schooling.

Of Botswana’s population is poor


Despite Botswana’s astonishing economic growth in recent decades, inequality and poverty remain issues for some. 16 per cent of Botswana's population is poor, leading to limited access to food, shelter and other necessities. Access to decent sanitation facilities is generally good in urban areas, but this is not the case in some rural parts of the country.

1 in 3
Children under 5 are not growing healthily in Botswana


Almost one in three children under the age of five is stunted, meaning that they do not receive enough healthy food to develop. The main reason why children are not growing healthily is low birth weight. Furthermore, many children do not get the complimentary food with breastfeeding at a recommended age.

Together we can make a difference for children in Botswana

Can stay together
Grow up in our care
Children and young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Ketso steps out of the house and goes to school. Since the team from SOS Children’s Villages bought her uniform, her self-esteem has increased and she is always happy to go to school. Even though education in Botswana is free for the first 10 years, uniform is not. “I did very well last term because I have not missed any classes this year” says Ketso (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Botswana).

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