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

The capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, has around one million inhabitants. Although the city is an important economic and commercial hub, poverty remains high and living conditions are extremely harsh for many people. The local population is highly malnourished and many people in the region live in informal settlements without access to proper sanitation or clean drinking water. Children are particularly vulnerable as malnutrition limits their growth and lack of access to clean water puts them at risk of contracting common diseases. In addition, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to be a challenge in Lilongwe.

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lilongwe.

Of people in Lilongwe live with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is widespread in the city

As in other parts of Malawi, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major challenge in Lilongwe. Efforts to combat the virus in the country have been intensified in recent years. Nevertheless, prevalence rates in the urban areas - especially in the capital - are up to 17%, which is significantly higher than the national average. A majority of those infected are children. Many other children lose parental care due to the virus and are left to fend for themselves in the harsh living conditions of Lilongwe.

3 in 4
People live in informal settlements in Lilongwe

Poor living conditions

The population density in Lilongwe is high and as the urban population continues to grow, the pressure on basic infrastructure increases. In fact, about 3 out of 4 people in the city live in informal settlements and the majority of them are severely affected by poverty. People often live in shacks assembled from scraps of wood and plastic, without proper sanitation and without access to clean water. People drink untreated water from unprotected sources and their immunity to common diseases such as diarrhoea and common childhood illnesses is low.

Your support makes a difference for children in Lilongwe

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
Children and young people
Learn at our school and attend trainings
Children and young people in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime.They support each other, so that they become independent when they grow up (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Malawi).

How your support helps in Lilongwe

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.
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.