We identified how we were going to help these families, and the next day we planted a huge garden for a family and built them a cold frame for seeding. We brought up all the materials and purchased 444 small vegetable plants. This garden will be the only source of income for this family of seven. Both parents have passed away so the responsibility now rests on the two brothers, one of which is only 22.
The conditions the children face in this community are daunting: wearing the same clothes daily and playing with toys they have made out of garbage. One little girl, maybe at the age of five, was playing with friends, and I realized that the crotch of her pants was completely blown out and her private parts were completely exposed. It seemed as though all the children were sick. The two meals a day they receive come from the community centre we were working out of. The first meal is at noon, and it is a thin cornmeal porridge. There is no fruit or sugar to sweeten this. It is literally gruel. The second meal is around 2:30, and it consists of white rice and a kind of stew that is changes as food becomes available.
Swaziland, August 2011