On the 27st March 2020 the government of Eswatini went into lockdown due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. The international travel ban has caused job losses in a country reliant on the tourism industry, which increased vulnerability in a country already affected an HIV/AIDS pandemic. The resulting economic crash has had a severe effect considering that prior to this 60% of people lived below the poverty line. Families who were struggling to put food on the table before the Corona Outbreak are finding it near impossible during this time.
All Out Africa supports over 200 orphaned and vulnerable children in 8 Neighbourhood Care Points providing early childhood education and two much needed nutritious meals a day. According to government regulations these have been closed during the lockdown. All Out Africa has rallied together staff & vehicles and started a COVID-19 RELIEF FUND to support these children and other vulnerable families most affected by this Corona Virus Pandemic. Through this fund we have received support from many of our friends and extended family and we are on a mission to use these funds as best we can to get food to those who need it most in a bid to reduce hunger, mitigate poverty & maintain health.
Working with traditional authorities in nine communities so far, we have identified vulnerable families in need of food relief, a majority of whom are run by elderly grandparents responsible for their grandchildren who were orphaned by the HIV pandemic in the country. While in some households children as young as 14 years old are heads of their families.
On the 17th of April, All Out Africa staff members headed out in two vehicles to deliver food packages to 24 vulnerable families. Each package consisted of 5kg sugar beans, 10 kg rice, 5kg chicken portions, 3 kg sugar, a bar green soap, 10kg potatoes, 10 beetroots, 10kg onions, salt, 2l cooking oil. The families are in the Bethany, Mhlanya, Lobamba, Nkhanini, Ekuzukekeni, Elangeni, Mlindzawe, Ezulwini and Mvutshini communities. We were met by tears of joy and heartfelt thanks. With your support we were able to provide much needed food to eighty seven people in these families, worst of whom was a grandmother living on a remote mountainside with her grandchildren aged 4 and 6, who had not eaten a meal in two days. We encountered elderly people bedridden by illness being given care by children as young at 9, who protectively adhered to World Health Organisation COVID-19 guidelines. Some built their own hand washing stations to keep their elders safe from infection.
On the 1st of May we embarked on another food delivery for a further twenty one vulnerable families and once again experiencing the tears of relief from these families who would not have to go to bed on empty stomachs. Seventy One people benefited from this.
So far, with your support we have provided food packages to 45 vulnerable families, a total of 157 people, and food relief stipends to a further 12 families. With thousands more needing basic food as the infection rate & it’s economic woes increase daily in a society which is already struggling economically. From all the families you have assisted and from All Out Africa we would like to thank you all for this support and ask your continued lifesaving generosity. There are many more families to reach and we aim to continue these food deliveries monthly for those that need it for the next 6 months. Siyabonga kakhulu!