SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Botswana).

Francistown is a city in the northeast of Botswana and has more than 100, 000 inhabitants. It was founded as a centre for mining and railway transportation over 100 years ago. Mining is still an important source of income for many people. While the social infrastructure, including education and medical facilities, in and around Francistown is generally good, HIV/AIDS presents a major challenge in the area. Like in other parts of Botswana, the disease continues to pose a threat to the health and stability of many families. Many children have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.

Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Francistown.

3 of 4
Children without care have lost their parents to HIV


Francistown, like the rest of Botswana, is heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. Although the situation is improving, many people who are affected by HIV/AIDS struggle to support and care for their families. Thousands of children have lost both parents as a consequence of the virus. In fact, out of 160,000 children without parental care, three quarters have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. These children are particularly vulnerable as they have to fend for themselves, have no opportunity to go to school and thus often cannot escape the cycle of poverty.

Of children are illiterate after primary education

Lack of education

Despite significant progress in Botswana's social development, challenges remain in achieving quality education for the majority of the population. Approximately 30 percent of children do not have basic literacy skills after 4 to 5 years of primary education. In addition, between 10 and 12 percent of children who should be in school are currently not enrolled at all. Without education, it is difficult for young people to find employment and break out of the cycle of poverty.

Your support makes a difference for children in Francistown

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care having fun playing together. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Botswana).

How your support helps in Francistown

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.