Eco Children works in the Limpopo & Mpumalanga provinces in north east South Africa, an area with some of the country’s most severe social and environmental issues:

  • HIV is prevalent: around 14% of people in Mpumalanga & 9% of people in Limpopo are HIV positive
  • Approximately one in three girls become pregnant in their teenage years
  • Almost a third of people are unemployed
  • The provinces are within one of the world’s largest conservation areas, but  more than 1,000 rhinos were killed by poachers in the area in 2014
  • School feeding schemes are unreliable and children often miss out on meals or receive inadequate amounts
  • Less than 5% of public schools have functioning libraries and less than 2% have science labs
  • Around a third of public schools have no toilets or only basic pit toilets
  • Learning is difficult in schools where the average number of learners is 1,000 and where education takes place in over-crowded and challenging conditions.
  • The provinces have hundreds of underperforming schools: Limpopo tops the list of underperforming schools in South Africa with 186, while Mpumalanga has 70 underperforming schools

Despite these significant challenges, the communities we work with are proud people and remain optimistic for a better future. Given a suitable education and opportunities, they have the capacity to improve their livelihoods and be positive catalysts for change within their families and in their communities.