There are more than 100,000 orphans in Swaziland. That makes an astonishing 20% of the nation’s children orphans. Many of these orphans are routinely abused by predators in their communites and forced into sexual slavery in order to survive. The life expectancy in Swaziland is only 31 years old, and around two-thirds of the people in Swaziland live in utter poverty, living on less than 70 cents a day.
Nearly 40% of the population is HIV-positive, giving Swaziland the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. The country suffers from an acute shortage of qualified health-care professionals or medical support of any kind. Mother Teresa Children’s Foundation helps feed orphans in rural Swaziland through a network of “care points” where the most needy children are identified and helped. We have enlisted the aid of local widowed “gogos” (grandmothers) to prepare and serve food. This in turn feeds the caregivers.
We help ship 40-foot containers of food to the care points that can provide 243,000 meals of rice and beans to hungry children. By partnering with local Swazi community leaders to organize the gogos and oversee the projects, we are able to feed the many orphans on a consistent, regular basis. Children come from surrounding communities to the care points for food and educational classes. All children are welcome to participate in the feeding program.
By becoming involved in the lives of these defenseless orphans, we are able to provide protection for them from the predators who seek them out. We advocate for the children with the local authorities to ensure that wrongdoers are punished and every Swazi child can live in safety.