Pietermaritzburg is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province in the east of South Africa and is located about 40 kilometres away from the coastal city of Durban.
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-Kinderdorf 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).
The SOS Kindergarten 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 Facility 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.