This tiny African Kingdom has been ravaged by HIV/AIDS and suffers the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. Right now, 25% of people ages 15 – 49 are living with this deadly disease.
More than 190,000 Swazi men, women, and children are HIV positive, and Swaziland’s life expectancy of 49 years is one of the lowest in the world. In a country with a population of 1.1 million, there are approximately 200,000 orphans.
Disease, poverty, and government instability are to blame for the orphan pandemic in Swaziland. Because there are very few orphanages in this country, these children are left to fend for themselves. Many suffer from malnutrition, starvation, and are targets for sexual abuse.
THE ANCHOR CENTER is the carepoint we support in Nsoko, one of the most impoverished areas of Swaziland. This carepoint has a Community Center, cooking shelter, preschool, medical clinic, and Community Garden on site.
Every day, up to 115 children walk to the Center to eat a hot meal and to play together. While at the carepoint, they are mentored by young Swazi men and women. They are also given medical care at the on-site clinic when needed. The youngest children attend the carepoint preschool, while others go to other nearby schools. In 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all school age children were able to get an education, thanks to thousands of dollars of school fees raised by The Sound of Hope!
We’ve also partnered with members of the community to start a Community Garden at The Anchor Center. This garden will provide those near the Center with an opportunity to grow healthy, nutritious food for their family. Right now there are 37 families farming their own garden plot! We’re excited to see this sustainability project grow and empower more families in Nsoko!