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November 19, 2020
Sometimes, it's hard to connect with the obstacles that other people experience in countries you don't live in or regularly visit. Because thousands of miles—and maybe even an ocean—separates you from events that are happening across the world, it can be challenging to understand the hardships that people face.
What makes it even more difficult is that you don't get the full picture when watching the news or reading a general article. While those resources are enlightening and help generate awareness around issues plaguing other countries, you can't always get the depth of information you need.
When reporters aren't on the ground in the places where the trouble is occurring, you can miss the opportunity to sympathize with someone else's struggle. And that's assuming journalists are spotlighting the situation at all. Some problems rarely get coverage, leaving you unaware of circumstances that could benefit from your positive impact.
One of those circumstances is the 200,000+ orphans in Eswatini. This crisis rarely gets the attention it deserves. And when you do find articles or videos about the orphans in Eswatini, you don't always receive the level of knowledge you need to connect with the children's stories.
But fortunately, this trend is changing. There are organizations and humanitarians in Eswatini that are sharing personal stories to help you understand the obstacles that orphans in Eswatini encounter and how you can help them survive and thrive.
Who's bringing attention to orphans in Eswatini?
If you're new to Khutsala Artisans, you might not know that the company is an initiative spearheaded by Heart for Africa.
As a faith-based humanitarian organization, Heart for Africa focuses on uplifting the people in Eswatini by fighting hunger, decreasing poverty, providing education, and of course, caring for orphans and vulnerable children. Achieving these goals means that the staff and volunteers at Heart for Africa get first-hand exposure to the struggles and challenging living conditions that orphans in Eswatini experience before they become children in the organization's ever-growing family.
This awareness allows staff members to share real stories about the children in Eswatini so that you learn what's going on, connect to the kids, and take the steps to help them succeed in life. Janine Maxwell, for example, is the Co-founder and COO of Heart for Africa, and she continuously works to provide in-depth information about the children in Eswatini.
On her blog, she offers insight into what children in the country encounter when they’re abandoned or in poor living conditions. And while Heart for Africa has children's homes that allow kids to experience love, family, support, and a great education, Janine still uses her blog to paint a picture of what life is like before a child comes to Heart for Africa. With her insight, you get the in-depth knowledge you need to fully see what's going on.
Real stories about the orphans in Eswatini
When you read Janine's blog, you learn and understand that many orphans in Eswatini are sick and malnourished before they live and grow up in Heart for Africa's children's homes. In worse case scenarios, they're even facing death.
According to Janine, Heart for Africa recently welcomed a baby girl. As her legal guardians, the staff at Heart for Africa named the baby Victoria.
The latest addition to the bunch was welcomed by all, but emotions were also mixed with heartbreak because of the baby's condition. Victoria was near death when Social Welfare placed her under Heart for Africa's care.
Her first birthday was on October 27th, and she didn't receive any gifts or a party to celebrate her life. Instead, Victoria was fighting to live. Weighing only 11 pounds, she was extremely malnourished and experiencing marasmus as a result.
This condition happens when you don't get enough nutrients and energy to meet your needs, leading to a decrease in muscle and body fat. If a child has this condition, it's unlikely they'll develop the way children should, and this possibility is a reality for Victoria.
On top of that, she doesn't respond to sound, light, or objects, giving the impression that she may be blind and deaf. However, it's worth hoping that these symptoms are just a result of her untreated condition.
Victoria hasn't eaten in a long time, and she's very sensitive to touch, even showing signs of pain. No one knows whether she'll live or die—but a team of doctors and nurses, as well as the staff at Heart for Africa, are committed to helping her have a chance at life.
If she lives, Victoria will have the opportunity to be known as a child, not a kid that's simply labeled an orphan. She'll grow up in Heart for Africa's children's homes and find herself surrounded by kids, staff, and volunteers who love her and consider her family.
However, if she passes away because of her dire condition, Victoria will be a victim of a circumstance that so many children in Eswatini find themselves in. So many kids in the country are abused, starving to death, or unable to gain access to medication that can save their lives. In addition, most of them grow up without getting any love, care, or affection from parents or others in their communities.
How to help the orphans in Eswatini
Janine's blog is an example of what it looks like to get in-depth information about the struggles people face in other countries. When you receive insight from someone who's on the ground, observing people's pain, and trying to make an impact, you get a full picture of the problem, and that allows you to truly sympathize.
But what should you do with that sympathy? The short is to help.
If you've found yourself sympathizing with the orphans in Eswatini and want to make a positive impact, there are six things you can do.
If you want to financially support the children that Heart for Africa is caring for, you can do the following:
Regardless of the option you choose, your donation will make a positive impact. To take this step, visit Heart for Africa's donations page.
If you want to make a regular commitment to the children in Eswatini, you can sponsor a child by becoming a monthly donor. It takes around $225 to care for one child. That amount covers formula, diapers, medical care, food, and around-the-clock caregivers.
However, you can also choose to sponsor a child by donating a smaller amount. Fifty dollars covers formula for babies between 6 and 18 months, and $100 covers one night shift so that a caregiver is always there for the children.
To become a child sponsor, visit Heart for Africa's child sponsorship page.
As you learned from reading Victoria's story, many orphans in Eswatini are malnourished. As a result, it's imperative to help feed the children in the community so that they grow up strong and healthy.
If you want to help make this possible, you can donate to one of Heart for Africa's feeding programs. You can help support children by donating funds for sugar beans, eggs, dairy, goats, or dry-meal packages.
To help feed the children in Eswatini, go to Heart for Africa's hunger initiative page.
Heart for Africa created Khutsala Artisans to help support vulnerable children in Eswatini. If you buy jewelry or home decor from Khutsala, you can help uplift the children living in Heart for Africa's children's home. And you can also help Khutsala's employees support their families.
More than 100 Swazis are working at Khutsala Artisans, and on average, each one supports around 13 family members—that means, Khutsala Artisans helps provide for about 1,300 people in the community. And with your purchase, you can support the employees at Khutsala Artisans so that their families and children get the nourishment and provision they need.
To shop with purchase, check out Khutsala's jewelry and home decor.
If you want to become an affiliate or ambassador for Khutsala Artisans, you can receive a unique URL to share with your network. You can encourage your family and friends to shop by sharing the URL on social media or texting and emailing it.
As an affiliate, you'll have the visibility to track the sales that come for your link, giving you the opportunity to see the positive impact that you're making. For your commitment to helping children in Eswatini, you'll also receive a 10% store credit for every sale you generate.
To become an affiliate or ambassador, go to Khutsala's Get Involved page.
There are several ways that you can raise money to support vulnerable children in Eswatini. You can host an event in your area to fundraise for Heart for Africa. Or, you can raise money through Facebook Fundraiser to generate more awareness and expand your reach.
If you need to raise money for your organization or sports team, Khutsala Artisans has a fundraising program that will help you reach your fundraising goals.
A portion of the sales will go towards your organization and you will also be helping to provide funds to care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Implementing either option will be a significant step in helping the children in Eswatini thrive and live healthy lives, so choose the option that best suits you. And if you want to get more people involved, you can always fundraise with friends or an organization.
For fundraising opportunities, visit Heart for Africa's fundraising page.
Make a positive impact
Your contribution to children in Eswatini will not go unnoticed. If you take one of the six steps above, you can help the kids in Eswatini go from orphans to beloved children who have a family to support them. Don't miss an opportunity to make a positive impact now that you have deeper insight into the obstacles that these children face.
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