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

Blantyre is the second largest city in Malawi and has about 800,000 inhabitants. It is an important financial and commercial centre and is located in the south of the country. However, both in the surrounding rural areas and in the city itself, life remains very difficult for the majority of the population. In the rural areas, most people are employed in agriculture and barely make ends meet. Children are often expected to work in the fields to contribute to the household income. Others migrate to the city of Blantyre where they have to survive on the streets. This makes them extremely vulnerable for exploitation.

Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Blantyre.

Of working children in Blantyre are under 14

Child labour

The economic situation in and around the city of Blantyre is catastrophic for many families. In the rural areas, many people work in agriculture. Especially on tea and tobacco plantations, people mostly work as tenants, which means they have to meet production targets. This puts enormous pressure on families, so that children often have to support them - it is estimated that up to 80% of working children are under 14 years old. These children miss crucial years of their education, which significantly reduces their future opportunities. As a result, many children and young people struggle to escape poverty.

4 in 10
Children do not grow properly in Blantyre

Physical and emotional development

Limited physical and intellectual development among children is a widespread problem in Malawi. Although the proportion of children suffering from stunting has decreased significantly in recent years, the high population growth in and around Blantyre has led to an increase in the absolute number of children under 5 suffering from this condition. Almost 4 out of 10 children are still not growing healthily for their age, which can have serious consequences for their development. Many children in Malawi have little access to food, drinking water and good sanitation, which are essential for optimal child development.

Your support makes a difference for children in Blantyre

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
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Learning to knit is one of the many useful skills children and young people in our care get to develop, so that they become independent when they grow up (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Malawi).

How your support helps in Blantyre

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.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary 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.