SOS Children in Swaziland

SOS Children Sponsorship Locations in Swaziland

Swaziland is in southeast Africa, bordered by Mozambique and South Africa. Over 60 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Some 70 per cent live in rural areas and the economy is still largely based on agriculture.

Erratic weather conditions, an over-reliance on maize and failure to grow drought-resistant varieties are contributing factors to the rise in the price of this staple crop, which is now beyond the budgets of many families due to rising unemployment and the general economic slowdown in Swaziland. The food crisis in Swaziland has precipitated a humanitarian emergency that is having a particularly severe impact on women, children, the elderly and those orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. Life expectancy is around 42 years and the infant mortality rate is high. Only half the population has access to clean water.

The charity began its work in Swaziland in 1990 when the first community opened at Sidvwashini on the outskirts of the capital, Mbabane, was formally opened by King Mswati III. It has ten family houses and four youth houses which together are home to 140 children and young people. As well as a kindergarten, the Village has two schools, primary and secondary, all of which are open to local children. There is a clinic which provides medical care for around 40 patients a day and a social centre which operates an AIDS outreach programme supporting HIV/AIDS affected families with clothes, food, school fees, basic medicine, housing improvements and counselling.

The need for the charity to build a second community in Swaziland was highlighted by a government report on the situation of AIDS related orphaned children, and in 1999 the government donated a plot of land on the outskirts of Nhlangano in the Shiselweni region. The new village was completed in 2001.

SOS Children Nhlangano has ten family houses and a kindergarten for children from the local community as well as the SOS children. A medical centre provides treatment and care for local people as well as an AIDS outreach programme similar to that in Mbabane.

In 2000 SOS Children's Villages Swaziland launched an emergency relief programme to help families in Mbabane affected by flooding. Young people from the SOS Children's Village helped to rebuild the family homes.

In 2001 SOS Children's Villages Swaziland developed a community based child care and support programme for families in Mbabane and since April 2002, a food programme has been running in the province of Hluthi in the vicinity of the SOS Children's Village Nhlangano supporting around 600 people who have been badly affected by the prevailing droughts.

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Swaziland

SOS Children in Swaziland
SOS Children's Villages Swaziland, PO Box 4657, Allister Miller Street, Mbabane
Tel: +268/422 08 78
Fax: +268/422 08 77

Swaziland Child Sponsorship

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