Reducing Vulnerability of Children at the Grassroot
Location: Swaziland: Hhohho and Manzini Regions
Participants: 3,000 vulnerable children; 90 NCPs; 27,000 community members;
Main funding provided by the European Union with Euros 1.5 M over 40 months;
The project is executed by Palms for Life Fund, Swaziland.
Swaziland’s mountainous and arid regions are home to a population burdened by a high rate of poverty — around 69% of its people live on less than 60 US cents per day. The landlocked, South Africa-dependent country’s economy struggles, in part because about 70% of its population engages in subsistence agriculture. Floods, droughts, and basic agricultural technologies not only restrict economic growth, but make food security a challenge. Compounding the problem is the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS. 26 percent of the population aged between 15 and 49 years is HIV positive—the highest rate in the world. On average, Swazi born in 2007 could expect to live for only about 45 years. The impact of HIV/AIDS has been especially grim for Swazi children. Over 80,000 children in the country are orphans. A child heads 15% of households in the country. Widespread poverty, disease and agricultural instability place the Swazi in a highly vulnerable position.)
In late 2014, the EU awarded Palms for Life Fund a grant to contribute to the wellbeing of most vulnerable children in Swaziland by strengthening and enabling community organizations, namely Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs), to provide sustainable quality services to these children. Using participatory methods and anchored in a policy framework, the project began the pre-positioning phase of implementation in January 2015.
The project’s core objectives include:
Strategic Objective 1:
Strengthening community ownership of 90 NCPs by mobilizing and building NCP capacity and assisting NCPs to establish sustainable micro-democracies.
Strategic Objective 2:
Improving critical community assets and lifeskills at marginalized NCPs, which improves service delivery and infrastructure for vulnerable children, focusing on health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, with the full participation of community members.
Strategic Objective 3:
Strengthening and support NCPs’ abilities to provide and maintain reliable food systems for themselves, in a hygienic and safe environment, leading to changes in behavior/practices.