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Helping children and families affected by hunger

With your help, we have brought an end to hunger for numerous children in Africa. However, many more families still suffer and we need your support to stop this. Sponsor a child, give monthly to SOS Children, or hold a fundraising event to help us continue the fight against hunger in Africa.

Preparing food in Uganda

Hunger in Africa

In Africa, many children face day-to-day hunger so do not meet the minimum daily calorie requirement suggested by experts. The resulting malnourishment can cause a child’s physical and mental development to be affected and can make children more susceptible to disease, leaving malnourished children worse off than well-fed children.

This is why it is important to get sufficient food to children, to help poor children avoid malnourishment, and to help malnourished children get back to a normal level of health. We run projects across Africa which aim to give children the care and nutrition they need to grow up healthy. The following are examples of our projects working against hunger from Uganda, Madagascar and Zambia:

Ending hunger in Ugandan families

In Uganda, rising food prices have affected poor households in both urban and rural areas, particularly in the Northern region. Whilst Ugandans consume a variety of staple foods, price rises across many mean the poorest households are unable to afford the basic foods needed for their children. Poor households are the first to be affected by rising prices.

Practical support through the SOS Family Strengthening Programme

In Entebbe, Kakiri, Gulu and Fort Portal, we work with families who are vulnerable. The income of these poorest households is insufficient to meet their needs. Family members do not get enough to eat because of the extreme poverty they live in; they cannot afford healthcare services, and children miss out on education and even the most basic care. However, with the help of local partners, the situation doesn’t have to be like this. Many of these families have the ability to raise their income through simple practical assistance.

These are examples of the kind of help we provide in Uganda:

  • we provide hands-on ‘field school’ training enabling farmers to produce sufficient crops and/or livestock (mainly poultry and pigs) to feed their families and have a surplus to sell.
  • we provide in-kind support through access to seeds, fertilizer and tool
  • we give skills training according to the local context (e.g. arts and crafts, tailoring)
  • we help with business skills training to maximise the viability of small businesses, enabling them to negotiate the hurdles often encountered during the start-up phase

As we have worked in these areas, we have gained experience of which interventions are most successful, and we can alter these approaches depending on what works best for each family.

Helping malnourished children in Madagascar

Working in partnership with the National Nutrition Office of Madagascar (NNO), SOS Children is helping children in the area of Mahajanga. We help children whose families currently struggle to provide food for them. So poor they are forced to work on the streets to survive, many of these children are severely malnourished and due to their desperate situation often do not attend school.

Stopping hunger for a brighter future 

Our charity is providing 2,200 children in the area with food and schooling. We hope that this work will help the majority of children recover from the malnutrition they are currently suffering from. 90% of these children will be able to attend school, through which they will also be able to join back into their friendship circles and enjoy sports and extracurricular activities to help prevent any future return to life on the streets.

Health and nutritional support in Zambia

In Zambia, our Family Strengthening Programme is making a real difference to the lives of families in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Chipata. Many of the families we work with are headed by grandparents, parents or other relatives who are chronically ill, or older siblings, and these caregivers struggle to provide for the children’s needs.

This programme is contributing by lowering extreme poverty and hunger in these areas, as well as by lowering child mortality. It is also helping to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases common in Zambia.

With each family, we draw up a Family Development Plan which assesses their situation, the state of their health and how this affects the family’s ability to care for their children.