Landlocked and almost completely surrounded by South Africa, the small country of Swaziland is Africa’s last remaining monarchy. Geographically comparable to the size of New Jersey, Swaziland’s population is roughly 1,436,000 people.
Recently surpassing Botswana with the world’s highest HIV/AIDS infection rate, HIV/AIDS related deaths have overall lowered life expectancy, increased infant mortality rates, increased the country’s death rate, and lowered the population growth rate. There is no question that the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS has affected economic growth in the country.
An unfortunate consequence of the stigma of HIV/AIDS is the number of children disregarded because of their association with the disease. The population of HIV/AIDS affected orphans and vulnerable children, an estimated 15,000 from child headed households, face intense challenges that affect their survival.
Currently, SOHO is developing programs in three areas of Swaziland: Mhlosheni, HhoHho, and Nhlambeni. The organization addresses needs of orphans and vulnerable children throughout the country.