Windhoek is the capital of Namibia and is located in the centre of the country. With a population of around 430,000, it is Namibia’s biggest city and it has been growing even further in recent years. It is at the heart of all economic and political activity and many people come to the city in hope for a better life.
However, reality looks different for many people, as unemployment remains high. Many families end up living in impoverished outskirts of the city where infrastructure is limited and violence is common. Children growing up in these areas of the city are at particular risk and education levels are poor. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is also high in these densely populated parts of town.
Since 1985, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Windhoek.
Namibia remains one of the most unequal countries in the world in terms of wealth distribution, and this is clearly visible here in Windhoek. The richest 10% of the population in Namibia receive over 50% of the country's total income, while the poorest 10% receive just over 1%. This means that many families in the country live in a very poor economic situation and that there are large differences between the life chances of children from different parts of society. Poorer children often do not have access to basic sanitation, do not get enough to eat to develop healthily and have fewer opportunities to get an education.
Windhoek is Namibia’s biggest city, and it is constantly expanding. Internal migrants come in search of better employment and opportunity. However, they often struggle and end up settling in the impoverished outskirts of the city. While living conditions have improved in recent years, many people are without access to basic sanitation such as running water. In addition, unemployment rates continue to be extremely high, with some estimates as high as 80% of people out of a job. Many parents struggle to provide for their children. In some cases, they cannot afford enough food or an education. This in turn leads to increasing levels of violence.