Using rugby as a vehicle for engagement, we create safe and fun environments to educate children on HIV/AIDS and its cultural causes in Eswatini, the worst affected country in the world. It tackles gender and healthcare inequalities and taboos to empower the children and create a healthier future.
No other nation is affected by HIV/AIDS like Eswatini is. The strong regressive culture causes many women and girls to suffer domestic and sexual violence, often with devasting transmission and infection impacts. As AIDS profoundly depletes the country’s labour force, 120,000 children are orphaned and the phenomenon of children raising children is sadly too common. Children become workers, leaving school and selling themselves into child marriage. Right now, 45% of children are vulnerable.
SKRUM is our local partner in Eswatini tackling the cultural barriers to HIV/AIDS reduction. Our sessions provide a safe place for children to learn and ask questions, breaking the taboo of HIV that has enabled it to persist for so long. We can inspire better leaders in the community, teaching young boys to understand and respect girls, mitigating the generational sexual violence. When socio-cultural roots of HIV and economic barriers to health care are removed, communities can thrive.