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The tiny landlocked country of eSwatini in southern Africa encompasses breathtaking natural beauty and the Swazi people are both kind and welcoming. With a population of 1.1 million, eSwatini has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. Over half the children of eSwatini are orphaned or vulnerable due to the AIDS epidemic. With high unemployment, extreme poverty and lack of nutrition and healthcare, the widows and orphans are the most at-risk. Food scarcity and lack of clean water are responsible for many preventable illnesses for these vulnerable populations. Through global health programming, Project Love One seeks to work with communities in eSwatini to develop sustainable solutions in the areas of clean water, nutrition, health and education while sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
27.3% of the population is living with HIV
58% of children are orphaned or vulnerable with many orphans living in child-headed or granny-headed homes
More than 40% of the population is unemployed
60% of the population live below the line of poverty
25% of the children in eSwatini experience chronic malnutrition
One-third of the rural population does not have access to clean water
The orphaned and vulnerable children in rural eSwatini are the most at-risk for chronic malnutrition which leads to stunted growth, impaired mental development, weakened immune systems, and poor performance in school. Project Love One desires to partner with rural communities to encourage and assist in individual farming to increase variety in the diet. In addition, we would like to come alongside communities to implement a Care Point where vulnerable children can receive a daily meal. By addressing the nutritional needs, the health of communities can improve, thereby working to end the cycle of poverty.
Poverty has a direct impact on the health of a community. With high rates of HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis, and many other preventable diseases, many Swazi people living in rural areas lack basic health care. Project Love One desires to apply a sustainable approach to improving the health of the vulnerable populations through community-based health education and training. Global health programming centered on community empowers these rural areas to improve the health of their community and take steps to ending poverty.
In eSwatini the education for primary school is free of charge, however many children are unable to attend due to the inability to pay for school uniforms, or they are too sick to complete their school year. By comparison, secondary schools cost around $450 USD which makes this education impossible for most orphans and vulnerable children. Research demonstrates that education is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Project Love One desires to strengthen the community by connecting the vulnerable people to income-producing jobs or skills to be able to provide for the educational costs. In addition, Project Love One would love to develop a child sponsorship program to ensure children have uniforms and shoes so they can attend school, and so that the orphans and vulnerable children are able to complete their secondary education.
Many of the rural areas in eSwatini lack access to clean water. Some women and children must walk three hours to fetch clean drinking water. To further add to the water crisis, eSwatini has suffered from devastating droughts in recent years. By providing access to clean water, the disease burden from water-borne illnesses decrease, and the sanitation along with overall health of communities improve. Project Love One recognizes that accessibility of clean water is essential and the first step in improving the health and the lives of communities. As an organization we will advocate for the needs of these communities and if needed, assist monetarily and/or through planning to make access to clean water a reality.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and empower the widows, orphans and vulnerable population to break the cycles of poverty through education, economic opportunities, developing proper nutrition and health prorgramming.
Thank you to Morgan Brenner at https://mbrenner.smugmug.com for the beautiful photographs of eSwatini.
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