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Surviving abuse to help Eswatini’s neglected children — Global Issues


“In this community, many children do not go to school or kindergarten because they do not have food. Many others cannot afford the tuition fees. I can’t send my kids to preschool because my husband lost his job.

Some children lack parental love. We have seen abandoned children who have to find their own food and are at risk of being sexually abused by adults who can potentially infect them with HIV.

The same thing happened to me: although my parents didn’t abandon me when I was a child, I faced abuse from adults including neighbors, teachers and pastors at my church.

Siphiwe Nxumalo, a World Food Program (WFP) volunteer in Eswatini, has returned to her hometown to help orphans and vulnerable children who struggle with poverty and abandonment. fall.

© WFP/Theresa Piorr

Siphiwe Nxumalo, a World Food Program (WFP) volunteer in Eswatini, has returned to her hometown to help orphans and vulnerable children who struggle with poverty and abandonment. fall.

A safe place for children

Before we created this Residential Care Point, this building was full of crime. It was used to store stolen goods, and the walls were covered with violent graffiti.

We have created a safe space for children. After we renovated the structure and opened Care Point, crime in the area went down. We are not professional teachers but take advantage of online resources, such as YouTube classes and educational apps.

We want them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset from a very young age, show them how to avoid rampant crime and create opportunities for themselves.

Hot meals, five days a week

About 75 children come to this care point. These centers are initially aimed at children under the age of eight, but we welcome children of all ages, including those whose parents cannot send them to school, children with disabilities, children who need food. urgent.

With support from WFP, we can deliver hot meals, five days a week. Every month we are supplied with corn, beans, rice and oil. WFP also gave us farm tools, and we created a vegetable garden where we grew beans, spinach, lettuce, and other vegetables.

I didn’t realize, until my friends pointed out that I was always talking about kids and how to help them. So I’m at the right place. I have found my calling.

Siphiwe Nxumalo, a World Food Program (WFP) volunteer in Eswatini, has returned to her hometown to help orphans and vulnerable children who struggle with poverty and abandonment. fall.

© WFP/Theresa Piorr

Children at the WFP-supported Residential Care Point in Eswatini

Eswatini: an HIV hotspot

Eswatini has the highest HIV prevalence in the world: 27.9% of the adult population is living with the virus; 71% of children are orphaned or vulnerable; and 1 in 4 children is orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

  • Orphans and vulnerable children are at high risk of facing violence and abuse, HIV infection, malnutrition and reduced access to education.

  • Neighborhood Care Points can be found nationwide. By 2023, WFP will support 800 of these care points with regular food and agricultural inputs.

  • Local volunteers ensure that children have access to necessary education and health care, recreational activities and healthy meals.

Learn more about WFP in Eswatini This.

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