Youth after school in Swaziland

  • The Kingdom of Swaziland has the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence in the world— approximately 26%1. The impact of this epidemic touches every sector of society and every Swazi family.
  • 69% of Swazis live under the poverty line (U.S. $20 per month), including 48% of the 1.2 million people under the age of 18–making children and adolescents particularly affected by the epidemic.
  • There are an estimated 130,000 orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) in Swaziland and the numbers are steadily rising.

Many vulnerable children and adolescents live with chronically ill parents or caregivers who struggle to meet their households’ basic needs. Additionally, many of these vulnerable children also live with HIV. Vulnerable children may suffer from endemic poverty, lack of effective guardians, stigma, gender, limited legal resources in the community, and geographic isolation. These circumstances put them at high risk of abuse and exploitation and impede their access to basic health, shelter, social protection, and legal rights.

In Swaziland, the Bantwana Initiative targets vulnerable children through integrated programming that addresses key service gaps, including primary healthcare, nutrition, livelihoods development, child protection, psychosocial support and early childhood development (ECD).

Adolescents comprise more than 60% of all orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland. Bantwana emphasizes supporting this emerging adult generation to ensure that they are able function as healthy, productive members of their communities.

Current Projects:


1. UNAIDS (2009). Swaziland: HIV and AIDS Estimates.
Retrieved from: http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/swaziland/