Food Hamper Program
The Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) has a population of 1.1 million and has the world’s highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, with approximately 31% of the population being infected. In 2010, it was estimated that there were close to 200,000 orphaned children in the Kingdom due to HIV/AIDS. Many of Eswatini’s children, therefore, face food shortages, lack of adequate shelter and care, poverty, and lack access to education.
Due to the number of children without a living parent, a large number of children in Eswatini live with extended family, who already have stretched resources. All Out Africa Foundation established and supports eight Neighbourhood Care Points (NCP’s) in Eswatini, each of which hosts between 30 and 80 children, to provide pre-school education, food, support, and guidance to these vulnerable and orphaned children in selected local communities. The NCP’s enable these children to remain living with their extended family by providing free education, meals, and support to relieve financial pressure on an already stretched family support network.
A concept first established by UNICEF, the NCP’s have been a much-needed response to the HIV/AIDS crises in Eswatini, where one in three children are vulnerable. These NCP’s provide safe environments within the community for these children to grow and thrive during their early development and offer a foundation for the child’s education.
The Food Hamper Program’s 8 Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs) are now strictly adhering to COVID-19 regulations implemented in The Kingdom of Eswatini. They can only accept 25 children per classroom, while before the pandemic they hosted between 30 and 80 children in each class. They also established a water station at the entrance of each NCP.
The extended school closures have really affected the children they support in many ways. Families have become more vulnerable and desperate, since some families’ providers have passed away due to the pandemic or they have lost their jobs.
The NCPs have also experienced a major food shortage, which has led to an increasing number of children and adults depending on the NCPs. The NCP cooks and teachers have dedicated extra time to setting up vegetable gardens, in order to continue feeding the children nutritious meals.
Support Vulnerable Children in Eswatini
In addition to providing two warm meals a day at the NCP’s, All Out Africa Foundation extends their meal support to a few families that have children attending the NCP’s who are living in extreme poverty. Small monthly food hampers supplied to these select families makes a tremendous difference and also greatly enhances young children’s abilities to come to school ready to learn with full bellies. As the numbers of students attending their NCPs increases each year, so do their overhead costs, effecting their ability to provide nutritious meals for the children who rely on All Out Africa Foundation both at home and in the classroom.
Food Hamper Program Goal
The donation goal of $3500 USD will help to provide an additional R500 per month of support to All Out Africa Foundation’s 8 Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs), which combined cater to more than 300 students, and 6 additional families. By expanding the financial resources available, All Out Africa Foundation will be able to cater to increased numbers in their classrooms and also begin to expand the supplemental food hampers that assist families who are living in extreme conditions within the communities surrounding the NCPs.