Swaziland has the highest concentration of HIV/AIDS in the world, with two-fifths of the adult population infected. The life expectancy there is 40 years, and in 2003, 17,000 deaths occurred due to AIDS. This constant devastation of the population has resulted in many households run entirely by children, and the number of orphans grows every day.
The goal of our project is to improve the educational facilities and programs within rural Swaziland. With the money that we acquire we will build a preschool for the children of the village, KaPhunga. In Swaziland there is only a 79% literacy rate, and overall education levels are low, mainly because only 44% of the children attend a secondary school. The country of Swaziland has a population of just under a million, more than half of which is under 18 years of age. This is important because if we can increase the level of education within this youth majority it will spark significant change in the future.
A better school is a necessity in the village of KaPhunga because it would provide stability within the lives of the children. In Swaziland there are 95, 000 orphans, 63, 000 as a direct result of AIDS. There are many households run entirely by orphans, and they are left with the responsibilities of working and acquiring food. The school we would like to build would guarantee these impoverished children with at least one meal a day, and it would provide them with a sense of community.
The purchasing of supplies and the hiring of builders for the construction of the school would happen in Swaziland. Swaziland has a 40% unemployment rate, and 69% of the population lives below the determined poverty line. In 2005, statistics showed that 48% of the population lives on less than one dollar a day. By purchasing supplies and hiring builders in Swaziland, we are bringing more capital into the local economy of KaPhunga, and are also providing much needed jobs.