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Swaziland is dying – here are the facts

Sometimes, it seems melodramatic to say it, but there is no escaping the fact that Swaziland is dying. The official numbers show a relentless pandemic sweeping through the countryside, leaving a trail of orphans in its wake. When I first arrived in 2004, there were 80,000 orphans. Within six y…
By Seth Barnes

orphan family 1Sometimes, it seems melodramatic to say it, but there is no escaping the fact that Swaziland is dying.

The official numbers show a relentless pandemic sweeping through the countryside, leaving a trail of orphans in its wake.

When I first arrived in 2004, there were 80,000 orphans. Within six years, that number will have more than tripled. This is absurd.

Simultaneously, the Swazi men are systematically raping and abusing the women. It’s horrific stuff.

My team is there in the worst part of it with a front row seat. We’re coping with the aftermath, seeing helpless babies die from a disease that they didn’t ask for. It’s hard to hope with these kinds of stories.

Here are the facts in a recent article:

One in three Swazi women have suffered some form of
sexual abuse as a child; one in four experienced physical violence, a new
United Nations survey revealed.

The study by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the
first of its kind conducted in a country where anecdotal evidence suggests an
alarming number of female children are victims of abuse. More disconcertingly
still, the mushrooming population of orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland
provide yet more opportunities for sexual exploitation to occur.

In two years, 200,000 Swazi children will have been
orphaned by AIDS – more than one-fifth of the current population, according to
UNICEF. With HIV prevalence at 33.4 percent among people aged between 15 and
49, the country has the world’s highest infection rate. As a result, life
expectancy has halved from nearly 60 years in the 1990s to just over 30 years
today.

Read the rest of the article here.

And I want to know, in light of what you know, and in light of what the Bible says about true religion, what are you prepared to do about this? Your options are:

  1. To go there and hold some orphans. I can help arrange that.
  2. To give your life away and live amongst the orphans as a mom or a dad.
  3. To give money to support those who are doing something.
  4. To care for orphans in some other place like India or Kenya that has a similar need.

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