This small country in Africa has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, giving it the name, “Nation of Orphans”. Generations of people in this country have been decimated by AIDS leaving many children orphaned and alone, without anyone to call mom or dad. The average person in Swaziland only lives to be about 46 years old. Because there are virtually no orphanages in Swaziland, these children are literally left to fend for themselves without any means of survival. Widely held myths and misunderstandings about AIDS have left many girls vulnerable to sexual abuse and infection of HIV. Young children throughout Swazi are often found to be the head of the household, caring for all their younger siblings and other children who have no one. Orphans are left susceptible to malnutrition, disease, and abuse. Children roam the streets unclothed and hungry looking for answers and for someone to care for them. Due to this harsh reality HopeChest has created a place for orphans to find refuge, a place to be loved and fed – a CarePoint.
The HopeChest Solution
In Swaziland, HopeChest partners with another organization, Adventures in Missions. Both organizations collaborate daily with local Swazi pastors to ensure that the orphan’s medical, physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Pastors in Swaziland oversee many of our ground programs and are the fire behind development. HopeChest highly values these relationships with local leaders. Through community sponsorship: kitchens, daily feeding, weekly discipleship programming, wells, school buildings, community centers, and garden projects are possible. Overtime, CarePoints in Swaziland will grow to be self-sustaining, enhancing the lives of both the children and the community. The most important part of our work in Swaziland is through our Discipleship Program. We have hired local believers, to mentor, build relationships, and most importantly to look after the spiritual wellbeing of the children. They do this through weekly bible studies, and counseling sessions with all of the children involved at our CarePoints. The number of orphans that HopeChest impacts is growing rapidly, and we want YOU to be involved. HopeChest is currently serving over 5,500 children through thirty CarePoints in Swaziland. But there are still thousands of children that need support.