Blantyre , capital of the Blantyre region in the south of the country, is Malawi's largest city.
It was named after explorer David Livingstone who was born in the Scottish town of Blantyre.
The Southern Region of Malawi has the highest poverty rate, the highest HIV prevalence and is very densely populated. The local population is very young and over a third are under fifteen years of age. An adequate and well connected plot of land in South Lunzu, on the outskirts of Blantyre, was chosen for the erection of the SOS Children's Village. It is a low to middle income area surrounded by poor villages which suffers from an absence of major service providers like hospitals and schools.
SOS Children's Village Blantyre comprises fifteen family houses for up to 150 orphaned, abandoned and neglected children, an administration and service area, a community hall and a house for the village director.
The adjoining SOS Kindergarten is open to the children from the SOS Children's Village and the surrounding community children and helps to improve the pre-school situation in South Lunzu. In three group rooms, up to 90 children between two and six years are looked after.
The SOS Hermann Gmeiner School offers primary school education to up to 320 children. The school helps alleviate the overcrowded primary schools in South Lunzu und provides quality education to children from the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood. It comprises eight classrooms, three rooms for woodwork, home economics and needlework and a library.
The family strengthening programme coordinated by the SOS Social Centre reaches out to up to 1,000 people per year and offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children.
The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills. The SOS Social Centre is strongly linked to the SOS Medical Centre, which puts a significant focus on HIV/AIDS and the related impacts of this pandemic.
Additionally, a rehabilitation programme for children with disabilities was established. The SOS Medical Centre comprises three consultation rooms, a drug store, two treatment rooms, a counselling room, a laboratory, an x-ray room, three therapy rooms and a library.