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Why should you shop Khutsala?
August 12, 2021
The repercussions of the pandemic are vast, including everything from economic turmoil, the deaths of loved ones, and an increase in mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. However, one consequence that hasn't received much attention is the number of children who've lost their primary caregivers because of Covid-19.
When examining the impact of the pandemic, a recent global study found that 1.5 million children from around the world have either lost a parent, a grandparent who helped care for them, or another relative who was responsible for their care. The team of researchers who conducted this study included people from the University College of London, USAID, CDC, the World Bank, and other organizations.
In particular, their study counted deaths in 21 countries that accounted for more than 76 percent of all Covid-19 cases. The researchers' specific findings suggest that globally, 1,134,000 children lost primary caregivers and 1,562,000 kids lost at least one primary or secondary caregiver.
Of course, this type of loss can have a devastating impact on children. Orphaned and vulnerable kids typically encounter poverty, abuse, disease, and extreme stress, and nowhere is this more true than in Eswatini, Africa.
Why orphans and vulnerable children in Eswatini need support
Like many countries, Eswatini was greatly affected by the pandemic. While Covid-19 didn't result in as many orphans in Eswatini as it did in the countries mentioned in the global study, many Swazi children lost a parent or primary caregiver because of the virus.
What makes that so disheartening is that Eswatini was already home to a large number of kids experiencing orphanhood. Before the pandemic, the country had more than 200,000 orphans and vulnerable children, and that's for a few reasons.
The biggest one is HIV/AIDS, which in comparison to other nations, is most prevalent in Eswatini. Despite the country's small population, around 200,000 Swazis had HIV/AIDS in 2019. Because of the virus' spread, 45,000 Swazi children between 0 to 17 years old have become orphans, a result of losing their parents to the illness.
However, poverty has also played a crucial role in exacerbating to the orphan crisis in Eswatini. Currently, half of Swazis live in poverty, with 58.9 percent of the rural population living on less than US$1.90 per day, which is well below the national poverty line. Additionally, 20 percent of Swazis are considered extremely poor.
With few financial resources, many adults in Eswatini don't have the ability to take care of their children. Consequently, it's not uncommon to see Swazi parents abandon their kids, sometimes leaving them by rivers, trash, or on the side of the road.
Other factors like trafficking children and internal conflict are also contributing factors to the orphan crisis in Eswatini. Some bad actors in the country profit off vulnerable children by promising a better life only to sexually abuse them and push them into servitude and forced labor.
These are all reasons why Eswatini had more than 200,000 orphans and vulnerable children pre-pandemic. But imagine what that number is like now that Covid-19 has taken away multiple kids' parents. Hundreds—if not thousands—of children have likely been added to the list.
Help make a difference with Khutsala Artisans
Now more than ever, there's a need to help orphans and vulnerable children everywhere. However, if you're interested in helping the boys and girls in Eswatini, you should come alongside Khutsala Artisans.
As a mission-driven initiative, Khutsala Artisans donates all of its profits to the children's homes on Project Canaan, which is run by Heart for Africa, a faith-based humanitarian organization. At Khutsala Artisans, you can buy various handmade items, from beautiful necklaces and bracelets to entertainment pieces like a charcuterie board.
Your purchase helps make a difference because it fulfills practical needs for the children that Heart for Africa cares for. When you buy something from Khutsala Artisans, you're not just helping supply a goodie bag every once in a while. You're helping provide necessary items that every child needs to live. For example, here's what the profits from your purchase allow Heart for Africa to afford.
Because poverty is so prevalent in Eswatini, many children are malnourished. Research suggests that 26 percent of Swazi kids under the age of 5 are impacted by chronic malnutrition. Many of the children who come to Heart for Africa are so starved that they're near death and in need of immediate medical attention.
With the profits from Khutsala Artisans, Heart for Africa has the additional help it needs to feed its boys and girls. Your purchase allows Khutsala Artisans to provide money that goes towards formula for babies and nutritious meals that enable Swazi kids to grow up healthy and strong.
Similar to food, clothes are a fundamental need for everyone. Pants, shirts, and undergarments protect you from the heat, dust, rain, cold, and any other natural element you may be up against, and this is especially true for children whose bodies are still developing.
Unfortunately, Swazi boys and girls who come from impoverished backgrounds rarely have the clothes they need. Before some children join the family at Heart for Africa, they're entirely exposed and vulnerable to the environment, making life extremely dangerous for them. However, by buying jewelry and home decor from Khutsala Artisans, you help provide comfortable clothes for the children at Heart for Africa so they no longer experience their previous reality.
With so many Swazi children abandoned by their parents, it should come as no surprise that many of them develop severe illnesses when they have no one to care for them. Sometimes, they fight malnutrition. Other times, they experience something else that's just as devastating, like Tuberculosis.
Treating these conditions and more is not possible without financial resources, which is why Khutsala Artisans loves knowing that its profits help Heart for Africa provide medical attention. If a child needs to go to the hospital, there will be money to ensure it happens. And if a child needs a regular check-up as every kid requires, Heart for Africa will have the funds to pay for doctor visits.
Heart for Africa doesn't just have multiple children's homes. It also has a school called Project Canaan Academy. Here, Swazi kids get an opportunity to enjoy a quality education, which isn't always available in Eswatini.
With most Swazi adults living in poverty, it's difficult for parents to pay for their children's schooling, which creates a cycle of poverty. But at Heart for Africa, Project Canaan Academy is meant to help solve that issue.
When you purchase products from Khutsala Artisans, you contribute to the school supplies and resources that Project Canaan Academy needs to teach its students and prepare them to be the future leaders of their country.
Every child deserves a safe place they call home, and Heart for Africa has become that sanctuary for hundreds of boys and girls in Eswatini. Most of the Swazi children at Heart for Africa did not grow up in the best circumstances. They didn't feel the love, security, and protection that kids need.
However, at Heart for Africa, these children get to join a family that loves them and wants the best for them. They get to grow up in a safe, comfortable home that's made possible by initiatives like Khutsala Artisans, where customers like you help fulfill basic needs and more.
There's nothing better than seeing a child live in a great home where they can succeed and thrive. That's why Khutsala Artisans does everything it can to create beautiful handmade items that you can buy to help give Swazi children the life they deserve.
Your contribution matters
No matter what you get from Khutsala Artisans, your contribution matters. Whether you buy one product or multiple pieces, your purchase will make a difference in a child's life.
Orphans and vulnerable children in Eswatini experience so many trials and tribulations. But when they become sons and daughters at Heart for Africa, their lives change, and it's because the purchases at Khutsala Artisans—both big and small—make all the difference.
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