January 28, 2021
Google defines hope as a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing to happen. Wikipedia provides a similar explanation but goes more in-depth. It defines hope as "an optimistic state of mind that's based on the expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large."
When people have hope, they are expectant—they believe positive things will happen. They're not discouraged by the future or the obstacles that lie ahead. Instead, they're optimistic about what the future holds.
This feeling of expectancy and optimism is something that Khutsala Artisans, a Heart for Africa initiative, seeks to instill in Eswatini, Africa. While full of Swazis who have potential, the kingdom is home to many individuals who experience traumatic circumstances that leave them without any hope for something better.
The areas of life where hope in Eswatini is crucial
There are four areas that Swazis in Eswatini struggle in: hunger, orphans, poverty, and education. These facets of life are some of the primary reasons why Swazis have little hope.
But to understand why these four factors make Swazis so discouraged, it's important to take a deeper look at them. Here is a brief explanation on the hunger, orphan, poverty, and education crisis in Eswatini.
A majority of Swazis in Eswatini are living in extreme poverty. As a result, they don't have the financial resources to buy the food they need.
Many Swazis are farmers, and they fight poor weather conditions on a regular basis. When a drought destroys their crop or harvest, it's devastating for families. Not only do they lose their primary source of income, but they also lose their family's provision.
What's even worse is that many adults in Eswatini have HIV/AIDS, and unfortunately, most of them don't get the proper medical care. Parents frequently die because of HIV/AIDS, and their passing leaves their children vulnerable to hunger. Even when the kids stay with someone else, they more than likely find themselves malnourished because their caretakers can't feed another mouth.
There are 1.1 million people living in Eswatini. However, over 200,000 of its population are orphans.. This statistic is the result of several different factors.
For example, as previously mentioned, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is prevalent in Eswatini. Many children and adolescents lose one or both of their parents to this deadly disease.
But poverty also plays a role in why so many children in this kingdom are orphans. Because parents have such little resources, some of them abandon their children since they can't take care of their basic needs.
Other factors for the significant number of orphans in Eswatini include corruption, obstacles to adoption, and war.
Eswatini is one of the poorest countries in the world. In terms of income inequality, the Human Development Index ranks the kingdom 138 out of 189 countries.
Even more disheartening is that more than half of Eswatini's rural population lives on less than US$1.90 per day. This number means that most of the Swazis in Eswatini are living below the national poverty line.
The consequences of this extreme poverty are clear. As mentioned above, it's helped create hunger, orphans, and vulnerable children in Eswatini. However, another pitfall of poverty is the corruption that some Swazi participate in to make ends meet. It's not uncommon to see adults trafficking children and subjecting them to hard labor to make money.
Poor education will keep any country from succeeding, and Eswatini is a prime example. Many of the schools in Eswatini suffer from a lack of funds, forcing teachers to do their job without the resources they need to educate their students.
What's also hard is that most Swazis can't afford to pay for their children's schooling. With half of the population living below the national poverty line, adults don't have the money to fund their kid's secondary education.
As a result, most students have to drop out or repeat classes. They rarely have the opportunity to experience a regular school year, where their attendance is nearly perfect.
How to instill hope in Eswatini
The first letter in hunger, orphans, poverty, and education spells hope, which keeps Khutsala Artisans and Heart of Africa zeroed in on its primary goal.
Creating hope in those four areas of life is the priority, and it's because hope has power. Research suggests that hope can help people manage anxiety and stress and cope with adversity. Scholars also believe that hopefulness is a necessary step to experiencing contentment and believing life is meaningful.
The benefits of hope cannot be understated, which is why Khutsala Artisans and Heart for Africa are so intent on offering it. But if you want to assist as well, you can do so easily.
By shopping at Khutsala Artisans, you can help provide for the children that Heart for Africa raises in Eswatini. All of the profits from Khutsala Artisans help supply food, funding for the children's basic needs, and an excellent education.
What's also great is that the employees at Khutsala Artisans make the money they need to afford food for their families, care for their children, live comfortably, and pay for their kids' schooling.
With so many advantages of making a purchase, you shouldn't hesitate to find an item at Khutsala Artisans that you'd love to buy. But if you need a few ideas on what to get, here's a list of handmade jewelry that focuses on instilling hope in Eswatini.
1. Double HOPE Bracelet
This hand-rolled bracelet features SwaziMUD beads, decorative objects that originate straight from the mud in Eswatini. Because this jewelry includes a bit of the kingdom in it, it can serve as a reminder that your purchase is helping create hope in Eswatini. The bracelet also has a charm that spells out hope.
Buy the Double HOPE Bracelet HERE.
2. Braided Hope Bracelet
If you prefer jewelry that has more of a braided look, this bracelet is perfect for you. It's an exclusive design by one of Khutsala Artisans' supporters. And it includes a dark brown leather cord that has a silver hope bead. The piece also features multiple strands of leather, making it a great stand-alone item or something you can layer with other pieces of jewelry.
Get the Braided Hope Bracelet HERE.
3. Lucky Seed Double Hope Bracelet
This bracelet is really unique because it's made from the seeds of Imfibinga trees in Eswatini, Africa. Collected in Southern Africa, these seeds are also called river stones or "Job's tears." The Lucky Seed Double Hope Bracelet also includes a hope charm to ensure you remember the country your purchase is helping.
Purchase the Lucky Seed Double Hope Bracelet HERE.
4. Corded Word Bracelet
Corded bracelets are a great unisex look and perfect for everyday use. This piece has a pewter tag with hope hand-stamped on it. Its black cord is easy to get on and off, and the bracelet is also adjustable so that you're comfortable.
Buy the Corded Word Bracelet HERE.
5. Lucky Seed Word Decor - HOPE
Our Lucky Seed Signs are made out of Maputjuju beads, more commonly known as “Swazi baby teething beads” or River beads, are found in Eswatini. This tropical wild grass seed has been gathered and used for generations by local Swazi women for their babies to chew on as a natural teething remedy. They are referred to as Job’s tears in other parts of the world.
Buy the Lucky Seed Word Decor sign HERE
Buy jewelry that brings hope
All of the jewelry in the list above are great options if you want to remember what your purchase is achieving. However, whether you buy a bracelet that centers on hope doesn't matter. What's important is finding a piece of jewelry that you like at Khutsala Artisans and purchasing it. No matter what you decide to get, your investment will help instill the hope in Eswatini that Swazis desperately need.
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