- Many children loose their parents to Aids and have to care for theirselves.
Government corruption is widely blamed for contributing to Swaziland’s financial crisis. Poverty in Swaziland continues to be severe: two-thirds of the population have less than $1.25 a day to live on. In the widely dispersed settlements in the south of Swaziland, there is neither sufficient food nor clean drinking water. The population suffers from malnutrition and infectious diseases, which has devastating effects on the development of the weakest members of society – children. In addition, many children in southern Swaziland are unable to complete primary school. They can’t afford the high costs for transportation, school uniforms and school books. Many children get jobs in order to help support their families or stay home to help out. Over 70,000 AIDS orphans are forced to support their younger siblings in this way. The number of AIDS orphans is increasing annually. Around 26 percent of the population is infected with HIV. This means that Swaziland has the highest HIV infection rate in the world.
Together with the Christian organisation Africa Co-operative Action Trust (ACAT), Kindernothilfe aims at improving the lives of (AIDS) orphans and those in acute need. Improving the situation of orphans sustainably requires building the capacity of communities in organising themselves and in financial and other management. ACAT is working with communities and villages to achieve this.
The community groups meet monthly. Each member makes a financial contribution to the Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO). Group members can request a small loan that allows them, for instance, to start a small business. The low-interest loans are paid off in instalments. By the end of the project, 170 SACCOs with a total of around 6,250 members are expected to set up.
- Thanks to organic agriculture families are able to secure their food.
Gardening has proven to contribute to household food security and to generate modest additional income by selling produce. It also contributes to a healthier and more regular nutrition. By March 2016, ACAT and community volunteers are planning to reach out to 3,200 people with hands-on information on how to set up an ecological vegetable garden. Another important component of our work is the battle against HIV/AIDS. One hundred sixty volunteers are visiting the individual villages to inform people about the disease. Additionally, ACAT staff organizes workshops with information on good practices on caring for AIDS patients and their families.