SOS Children's Village Bindura

Bindura, capital of the Mashonaland Central Province, is situated in the northeast of Zimbabwe, approximately 80 kilometres away from Harare, the country's capital.

The SOS Children's Village is located near Mazove, a small town in a fertile valley of the same name and has been operational since 1983. The official opening took place the same year.

SOS Children's Village Bindura comprises fifteen family houses with a capacity to take in up to 180 children, an administration building, a multi-purpose hall, a sports field and a house for the village director.

The adjoining SOS Kindergarten consists of three group rooms and a playground and can accommodate up to 90 children.

Since 1983, the SOS Vocational Training Centre Maizelands Farm has been operational. It comprises three branches (agricultural training, farming, and car mechanics) and has a capacity to take in up to 130 youths.

On 1,400 hectares of farmland, millet, cotton, peppers, sun flowers, soybeans and citrus fruit are cultivated.

The farm provides the SOS Children's Village with agricultural products and contributes towards its maintenance through the sale of its products. The facilities for agricultural training comprise barns, a maize mill and an oil press as well as accommodation for students, who learn modern farming methods and receive on the job training.

In 1989, two SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary Schools were opened, one for up to 990 pupils on the premises of the SOS Children's Village and a second one for up to 1,080 pupils on the site of the Maizelands Farm.

Together, both primary schools comprise 46 classrooms, an integration classroom, computer labs, and a sports field. In the early 1990s, Bindura had an increasing demand for secondary schools and to respond to this need, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Secondary School was added in 1992.

The secondary school has a capacity to take in up to 850 pupils and consists of twenty classrooms, twelve rooms for practical courses and science classes, a multi-purpose hall and a sports field.

The SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools have an excellent reputation and are renowned for their computer classes. Some of the rooms for multiple uses are rented out for special events such as weddings; this promotes integration into the local community. In order to meet the needs of the growing number of youths who had outgrown the SOS Children's Village, two SOS Youth Facilities were established in 1993, where up to 58 youths can stay during higher education or further training and prepare themselves for an independent life.

Since 2003, family strengthening programmes have been co-ordinated, offering access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and supporting families to protect and care for their children.

The programmes also aim at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills. The programmes reach out to up to 2,500 children a year and provide them und their families with food, school fees, basic medical treatment, counselling and psychosocial support.

Moreover, HIV/AIDS affected families are offered support to improve their housing and their living conditions. Those accepted onto the family strengthening programmes are mainly children who have lost both parents and now live with grandparents, older siblings or other relatives, as well as those whose parents are seriously ill.