AIM in Swaziland

This Monday the team went to a ministry debrief at the AIM offices in Manzini. We learned about the work that is being done in Swaziland. First, some statistics, the population of Swaziland is 1.3 million and 45% of that is under 18. Life expectancy is only 51 years, 69% under poverty line and unemployment is over 40%. In a lot of cases one person’s working salary supports 13 people. AIM has created Care points to help aid in this area as to come along side the community and help them as they support their families. Care points provide 2 meals a day,  it also has a formal Pre-school education, informal education through tutoring and discipleship, and community to kids in the surrounding area. 7,200 children are fed daily at 38 care points. Theses care points are manly run my grandmothers and mothers within the community and supported by AIM through shepherds. These shepherds are community leaders that are raised up through AIM to help lead the care point as well as be a liaison between the community and AIM.  AIM has many programs through the care points including grief counseling which is called Ngesikhatsi. They also have recently seen the need for programs for children with disabilities; this ministry is called Labaligugu which translated means treasured ones. AIM desires to build up the Swazi leaders to help their community around them to ensure that Swazi’s are leading and helping other Swazi’s develop and thrive in their community. They invest in people through community gardens, helping provide school fees for older kids as grade school is free for children to attend. School fees however increase drastically in high school. Aim desires to help these children thrive and so provides funds for high school age students who continue to keep a B average.  As we as a team have been able to work at the care points this past week, we have seen first hand these programs. The kids are so happy and grateful for what they have, even though it is a fraction of what I have. Seeing the kids joy and laughter is changing my perspective and will continue to through the rest of our ministry.

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