Volunteer in SWAZILAND
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Siswati, English
POPULATION: 1.39 million
GDP per CAPITA (PPP US$): Swaziland $5,400 Canada $41,100
% of Population BELOW POVERTY LINE: 69%
WHY VOLUNTEER IN SWAZILAND?
Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV and AIDS in the world. Currently, 26% of the country's population has the virus. In 2004, Prime Minister Themba Dlamini declared a humanitarian crisis due to the combination of drought, land degradation, increased poverty and HIV/AIDS. Most Swazi people realize they will not live past the age of 50. The AIDS pandemic has ravaged the country creating a generation of child-led families and orphans.
Volunteers provide hope by building Care Points, community centres, and homes for blended families composed of children orphaned from HIV/AIDS. Our host partner, S.O.S. Children’s Villages, supports Swazi children and young people in Mbabane, Nhlangano, and Siteki by providing day care, schooling, medical assistance, and community outreach programs. Each community care poin is staffed by SOS employees and volunteers who feed children from nearby homes with one meal per day. In exchange, the children stay at the care point for 3-4 hours of education. Local women also operate handicraft businesses out of the same buildings.
Click here to watch a video created by a group of mostly UBC students who began building a community care point in Mbabane, Swaziland.
Currently, volunteers are also working with SACRO, an SOS Children's Village partner organization who supports ex-offenders and children. In the community of Manzini, volunteers will renovate workshops that are used by ex-offenders using skills learned in correctional facilities, lessening the need for them to engage in crime related activities.
Upon completion of the volunteer experience, we recommend you experience the storytelling and communal meal of a traditional African homestead, visit Blyderiver Canyon and view the spectacular caves, rock art and wildlife of the Komati Valley, Hlane Royal National Park and the famous Kruger National Park. You can chose a range of activities that include canoeing, mountain biking, swimming and visiting craft markets and cottage industries.
WHEN CAN I GO?
|Volunteer Experience Schedule|
JULY 27 - AUGUST 10 Short Term (all ages): Manzini
Note: The Volunteer Experiences Schedule will be updated every two weeks.
It is subject to change depending on flight arrangements and suitability for host communities.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
For one week, the Program Cost is $1,600 and for two weeks it’s $2,000. This includes the cost of in-country food, transportation, accommodation, project costs and a substantial direct donation to the host partner and project.This does not include flights or costs outside of the 2 week experience. It’s 100% tax deductible.
Trips may be cancelled if not enough people are registered so please sign-up early to avoid disappointment. A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot on the trip; the remaining balance is due 60 days prior to your trip.
We invite people who cannot give the gift of time to donate to Swazi projects and programs through Developing World Connections.