Swaziland has been at the epicentre of an HIV/AIDS pandemic, with the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. As a result of this crisis, an alarming one-third of Swazi children are orphans. This figure unfortunately is on the increase.
Historically and culturally, extended families would take on the role of caring for orphan children. Unfortunately with many families living in extreme poverty this has become increasingly difficult to do. Many orphanages are full which has led to the increase of child-headed households.
Operation Hope liaises with the community’s Rural Health Motivator (those who are responsible for the health of groups of homesteads) and the Shoulder to Cry On (a community position designed to meet the emotional needs of orphans). This is done in conjunction with the Social Welfare Department.
As we come across orphans living in dire situations we try (together with the RHM, STCO and Social Welfare) to find holistic solutions. Most times the children are cared for in their own home with their health, safety and educational needs provided for. Whilst other times (like most recently) we have taken in and fostered children with our project manager (click here to read our ‘We Are Family’ blog).
It costs around AU $45 per month to meet a child’s educational, dietary, clothing and medical needs. If you would like to sponsor a child or would like further information please contact us.