Due to the covid-19 world pandemic, a lot of people are experiencing acute food insecurity and Eswatini is not spared. The situation has deteriorated with a notable increase in the proportion of the population in crisis especially vulnerable families like the ones relying on AOA support. AOA believes health and education are both fundamental building blocks of sustainable development. 60% of the approximately 1,3 million people in Eswatini live in poverty.
We continue to address the health needs of orphaned and vulnerable children in the 8 Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs) we support. A child needs two main pillars in order to learn to their best ability: nutrition and play. They cannot be engaged in learning if their bodies have not been fed and they cannot concentrate when their brains need to be relieved and their social skills need to be replenished. Each child’s BMI is taken periodically in order to screen for potential weight and health related issues although it is not a diagnostic tool. Although the good relationship we have built over the years with Charitable Trust Eswatini has made us able to continue distributing e‘Pap to the vulnerable families and children at the NCPs that we support. ePaP is a fortified pre-cooked food containing 24 micro nutrients that replenish the bodies with nutrient status at a rapid rate. This has seen an improvement in health thus making children perform to their best potential and seeing improved BMI record takings.
The All Out Africa Home Work Club program has recommenced as schools opened. This platform has engaged 15 underprivileged children from the local primary schools that we have partnered with. These children are not only assisted with their daily homework, Math and English skills but they also get the opportunity to receive a full set of school uniform in the form of a tunic, skirt, socks, shoes, tracksuit, jersey, trousers, backpack and shirt. A big thank you to everyone that makes this possible for us especially during these difficult times of COVID-19, without you none of this would be possible. This helps ensure that these underprivileged children go to school presentable in proper school uniform which makes them look like other children at school.
All Out Africa further seeks for more assistance in order to be able to reach out to even more children as your support encourages these vulnerable children with hope for the future. Due to the economic challenges, a number of children have found themselves trying to fend for at least one meal for the day which makes it very difficult for them. With more support, we believe we can change more lives.
Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel as schools have openedafter closing for the whole of 2020. This has brought a glimpse of hope to the future of the children academically. The 8 Neighbourhood Care Points that we support strictly ahere to the covid-19 regulations by only accepting 25 children in the classroom, having water stations, having water stations at the entrance as well as having masks on.
Schools closure for a long time has really affected these children in many ways as the families they come from are vulnerable and desperate since some of the providers have been casualties of the pandemic hence they lost their jobs.
The NCPs have a major food shortage. This is due to the increased numbers of children and adults that were depending on the NCPs since the advent of covid-19. The NCP cooks and teachers have dedicated their time setting up vegetable gardens in order to continue feeding the children nutritious meals. The NCPs have started a program on monitoring the children's body mass index (BMI) which will help determine the children's growth as we continue to help provide quality early childhood education to these less fortunate as one writer said "Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose''.
COVID-19 has brought a lot of hardships especially amongst the less privileged. Through your immense support, All Out Africa has been able to put smiles to many impoverished homes around Ezulwini and surrounding through providing basic food for those who need it most. Without the GlobalGiving family, all of this would not be possible.
On a positive note, 141 children graduated this December from the 8 neighbourhood Care Points supported by All Out Africa. We were filled with mixed feelings as the possibilities for them joining primary school remain a question due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we are proud of these children as they remained cheery even during these hardships. Nobody knows what the future holds for these children as the virus continues to soar with its associated restrictions on educational possibilities. We are hopeful that schools in Eswatini may open again in the not too distant future and that these children will get a chance at the education they need to lift themselves out of poverty.
We were also able to host a series of Christmas parties (each with less than 50 children) for over 300 underprivileged children through a donation made by our supporters in Norway, appreciation goes to former volunteer Atle Sundoy. We thank everyone for the immense support. We are hopeful that 2021 will be a better year for everyone. Despite the difficult situation we are all facing, we wish you all a Safe and Happy New Year!
Since the advent of COVID 19, the number of children coming to dish up at the All Out Africa NCPs has greatly increased. The increase is a result of children coming into dish up for other family members. They also fetch food for their elderly parents, physically impaired siblings and to seek guidance. These communities that work with All Out Africa are mostly poverty-stricken especially during the time of COVID 19 although on the surface this is not immediately apparent.
Last month All Out Africa was able to support a further 46 families through the support of your donations. With additional support, we can be able to reach out to even more under-privileged families. We humbly plead that you continue to pledge your support towards the people of Eswatini during these trying times. On behalf of the families that need it most, we greatly appreciate your continued support.
The world is faced with the COVID 19 pandemic and Eswatini has not been spared. Eswatini is the second hardest-hit country in Southern Africa after South Africa. The economic impact due to this pandemic has caused major job losses which have resulted in severe poverty and many families have found themselves in a dire state with no income to sustain even their very basic necessities like food. Although international travel has been allowed in South Africa, there are restrictions that have prevented an economic come back for a country heavily reliant on tourism.
Through these difficult times, All Out Africa through your donations has been able to provide food parcels each and every month for 44 families from April to September 2020 and with the assistance of the British High Commission, we have been providing food parcels for a further 55 families monthly since July 2020. Poverty-stricken families who benefited included those with a terminally ill family member, child-headed families, and families headed by elderly grandparents. Thanks to a donation by Swaziland Charitable Trust we were able to top up the Rice, Mealie-Meal, Chicken Pieces, oil and Vegetables with a highly nutritious breakfast food supplement called E-PAP.
We appreciate all the support we receive from the GlobalGiving family. Without you, there are many vulnerable families who would not have survived the pandemic lockdown. Unfortunately due to reduced donations, this month we can only support 10 vulnerable families through our GlobalGiving relief fund. Please do continue supporting this important cause. Your immense support is really appreciated and we hope we can get further support as the situation worsens in the country with people continuing to lose their jobs and the extension to a state of National Emergency.
No matter how bad the situation, we shall continue to do all we can to help!
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