Sustaining food and volunteers to support HIV/AIDS orphans in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
Our partner organisation for this project is AMICAALL (Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative for Community Action on AIDS at the Local Level) in Eswatini.
Eswatini has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world with 27 percent of adults living with HIV. Consequently, there are thousands of orphans, most of whom are cared for by extended family. There is considerable strain on families who are supporting another child. AMICAALL (Eswatini’s response to AIDS at the local government level) hosts 49 Social Centres which provide at least one meal a day to approximately 4,000 orphaned and vulnerable children. The centres also provide early childhood care and development, psychosocial support, birth registration, child health and recreation services.
Currently, the social centres lack a reliable source of nutritious food to provide children their daily meal. Children stop attending the centres when food availability is not assured. In addition, the centres rely on volunteers to prepare meals and provide services.
This project has funded the development of a farm to grow maize and beans as well as assorted vegetables. This will improve the consistency and variety of the food available for the children and improve the nutritional value of their meals. It will also allow volunteers to be supported through food parcels.
The farm has been established and is successfully producing maize. Each harvest produces approximately 150 bags of maize which feed 400 children in some of the most needy areas. Plans are afoot to expand the area of land under production and to secure funds for irrigation. These steps will dramatically increase the capacity of the farm to feed more children.