Why does it take a village to raise a child in Eswatini? According to a survey by Humanium in 2021, roughly 100,000 kids in Eswatini are orphaned due to their parents dying of HIV/AIDS and high poverty levels. This has led to important initiatives being created across the country, including Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs), which help these orphans by providing essential services and community work in Eswatini.
What are NCPs in Eswatini & what do they do?
NCPs in Africa as a whole are a community-based care framework, first established in 2001, that help to take care of children whose parents have died due to poverty or HIV/AIDS. Locally, NCPs in Eswatini are known as lihlombe lekukhalela, which translates into “a shoulder to cry on” and “child protector”. These centres are usually based in locations like churches, community sheds, houses and any other shelter that is available.
Neighborhood Care Points
NCPs help support community work in Eswatini that goes the extra mile. NCPs usually take the daycare groups in rotation of morning, afternoon and evening kids. These groups are grouped in age to deliver appropriate education that can apply to the entire group. NCPs provide the following types of services:
- Pick-up and drop-offs for each group of children.
- Shelter from cold, rain or sunlight.
- 2 meals per day which is sometimes the only time the kids will eat that day.
- Educational and life skill activities which involve English lessons and homework help as well as creative activities like storytelling, drama and singing.
- Warm or lighter clothing for the children when the weather changes.
- Emotional support for all children and additional support and counselling for children with special needs and disabilities.
- Raises consciousness and awareness of protection against HIV/AIDS.
- First aid treatments and basic healthcare.
Why are NCPs especially important for children in Eswatini?
NCPs in Africa, and more specifically Eswatini, are vital to the development of the younger generation. Without parental care, access to basic healthcare and poor nutrition can lead to growth hindrances that affect children’s performance academically and physically. Without concrete development, many children face challenges later in their adult lives.
Neighbourhood care points also give children a sense of normality and structure that are beneficial to vulnerable young children and orphans in Africa.
What Kaya does to help vulnerable children in Eswatini
Here at Kaya Responsible Travel, our mission is to deliver responsible projects that provide impactful experiences and drive long-lasting development in under-resourced areas and communities throughout Africa, and the world.
Our projects focused on community work in Eswatini include:
What you can do to help
NCPs in Africa need the funds and participation that volunteers can provide. At Kaya Responsible Travel, we are grateful to be able to provide volunteers for community work in Eswatini. However, the demand for volunteers at NCPs is ongoing and critical.
Volunteer in Ewatini NCPs and contribute to the amazing initiatives led by local on-the-ground teams.
Kaya volunteer experiences at the NCPs
A university group recently journeyed to Eswatini, where they volunteered at an NCP, providing an extra pair of hands and vital funding for their initiatives.
“This experience was incredible and rewarding! I learned so much and was so welcomed into the culture! I’ll miss Africa dearly, as it has now become a place deep in my heart.”
At Kaya, we also highly prioritize each volunteer’s experience in the country in such a way that they see the world in a unique way. We ensure that volunteers have access to cultural immersion activities too.
“It was an enlightening experience, where we went to museums, and educational tours, and engaged with the community in a surprisingly reciprocal way. I loved seeing the beautiful landscape and wildlife around our lodges, on hikes, and in the mountains. Shopping at local markets was a great way to give to their economy and learn more about their culture. My favourite part of this experience was getting to know the local guides, and hearing about their lived experiences growing up in Eswatini.”