Child Sponsorship Background from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Children from Pietermaritzburg, South AfricaSOS Children's Village Pietermaritzburg

The SOS Children's Village in Pietermaritzburg offers a fantastic view of the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal. It is located within eight kilometres of the city of Pietermaritzburg and has easy access to local schools, cultural and sporting activities. The SOS Children's Village has beautifully landscaped gardens with indigenous trees. At the bottom end of the site, an area has been set aside for a vegetable garden for the SOS families. The inhabitants of the SOS Children's Village are very concerned about preserving traditions: they collect folk stories and encourage the children to keep the stories alive by re-telling them. The official opening took place on 28 March 1998 in the presence of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Helmut Kutin, president of SOS Children's Villages International.

The SOS Children's Village Pietermaritzburg consists of thirteen family houses to take in up to 130 children, an administration and service area and houses for the village director and the SOS aunts (who support the SOS mothers and take care of the children when the mothers are on leave).

Other SOS Projects in Pietermaritzburg

The SOS Nursery has a capacity to take in up to 125 children and comprises five group rooms and a playground. In order to meet the needs of the growing number of youths who had outgrown the SOS Children's Village, an SOS Youth Home was established in 2001, where up to 10 youths can stay during higher education or further training and prepare themselves for an independent life.

Since 2002, an SOS Social Centre has been co-ordinating an HIV/AIDS community-based child care and support programme. HIV/AIDS affected families receive material and medical support, education and counselling, and they are supported with income generating activities. Besides, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaigns are organised.

Background to Pietermaritzburg

Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.  It has a population of roughly a quarter million.  It was founded in 1838. Its "purist" Zulu name is umGungundlovu. Pietermaritzburg is popularly called Maritzburg in English and Zulu alike.

During apartheid, the city was segregated into various sections. 90% of the Indian population was moved to the suburb of Northdale while most of its Zulu inhabitants were moved to the neighbouring township of Edendale.