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 Eswatini).

Eswatini is a landlocked country situated in Southern Africa. The majority of the country's population live in rural settings and follow traditional ways of life. Due to unfavourable climate conditions and low agricultural productivity many people live in poverty. Unemployment is high and infrastructure, such as housing and sanitation facilities, tends to be poor. Food shortages are widespread, particularly in rural areas, and a large number of school-aged children do not receive an education. Furthermore, Eswatini Is heavily marked by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Eswatini since 1987.

Children are at risk

In the Kingdom of Eswatini, children under the age of 17 make up almost half of the country’s total population. Poverty, food scarcity and poor sanitation all have severe impacts on children’s lives. As they often do not get enough nutritious food, many children fail to develop healthily. Lack of access to proper sanitation facilities puts them at increased risk of contracting water-borne disease. Furthermore, due HIV/AIDS pandemic many children lose parental care and are left very vulnerable. In many cases, children do not go to school at all or drop out early.
Of children under 5 do not get enough food in Eswatini

Widespread poverty

Since so many people in Eswatini make a living off agriculture, they are very vulnerable to climate change. Recurring droughts and floods often lead to crop failure and threaten people’s livelihoods. Many live in poverty and tens of thousands lack access to clean water, decent housing and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, malnutrition is a serious challenge for many people in the country. Children are particularly vulnerable and their development is affected.

7 in 10
Children in Eswatini drop out of primary school


Owing to HIV/AIDS and high levels of poverty, the phenomenon of children raising children is quite common in Eswatini. This explains why many young Swazis miss out on a decent education. While education has become more accessible with the introduction of the government’s free primary education policy, many children drop out of school. About 7 in 10 children do not compete primary school. This rate is even higher in secondary school because families can’t afford fees or due to early pregnancies among young girls.

People in Eswatini live with HIV/AIDS


Eswatini is heavily marked by HIV/AIDS. And the extent to which the disease affects the population is beyond comparison. While Eswatini has been quite successful regarding the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, many children are still indirectly affected by the virus. Tens of thousands of children have lost, or are at risk of losing, their parents to the disease. These children then have to fend for themselves and sometimes even take care of younger siblings.

Together we can make a difference for children in Eswatini

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
Themba and her three younger sisters lost parental care. “The burden was now on me, as the big sister, to take care of everyone. I was 17 years old.” With the support of SOS Children’s Villages, Themba and her younger siblings could stay together in a foster family and go to school. Today, Themba is in her second year of college (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Eswatini).

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