How You Can Help:
PASTURE VALLEY CHILDREN MISSIONS
Helping Orphans and Vulnerable Families In Swaziland, Africa
JOIN US - THERE IS MUCH TO DO!
CALL US: +1.573.201.4832
Pasture Valley Children Missions (EIN 35-2468924) is a tax exempt 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to benefit orphans, orphanages, preschools, elementary schools, and vulnerable families in Swaziland, Africa.
Swaziland is a tiny country about the size of New Jersey three quarters surrounded by South Africa, and one quarter by Mozambique. It is one of the few countries that still has a king. The HIV/AIDS pandemic had stricken up to 43% of the population, the average life expectancy is between 31 and 49 years depending on which report you read, and in a country with just over a million people, over 100,000 children are orphans. Orphan is defined differently in Africa than in the USA and Europe. A single orphan is a child who has lost one parent, and a double orphan is a child who has lost both parents. Either case is traumatic for the child.
There are almost no families in the country that have no been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The parent generation is dying, and the grandmother generation is left to raise large numbers of children, many not even related, in a country where women are not respected and have few opportunities for gainful employment. It is not unusual for households to have in excess of 10 children because grandmother-age women, called "Go-Go" and "Grand Go-Go" in Swaziland, keep taking one more child, then one more child, then one more child. The stress of feeding large numbers of children make the women age prematurely and many seldom smile because they worry a lot about how they are going to take care of all those babies without a job. Sometimes they just go without food for several days because there is no other choice. There is no welfare system in Swaziland, no food stamps, no social security, no SSI, no Medicaid. There is no free education, no school buses, no free and reduced lunches, and no getting passed to the next grade if you don't meet learning objectives. It is a hard life for kids, and especially for the women who raise the children.
Orphanages have long waiting lists of children who want to get in, and there are thousands of child-led households with no adult present. In the United States, there is a stigma to foster care and residential facilities, but not in Swaziland. If a child gets to go to an orphanage, that means they get food every day, have adult supervision so they do not have to be afraid of things that go bump in the night in shacks with no electricity or safety, the opportunity to go to school, and the chance to be a kid again instead of trying to be Mom and Dad to younger siblings and not knowing how.
The need is great, the resources are not sufficient, and children die daily of starvation, untreated inherited HIV/AIDS, and illness due water-borne diseases and lack of access to medical care. Many of those who survive are victims of crime because they are alone or have no guardian to protect them.
Against that backdrop of impossible odds, Pasture Valley exists to ease the burden, to help children and vulnerable families escape hunger and hopelessness, and to give a hand up, not a hand out, to a better future. We lean on God and depend on Him to provide every need. He has been faithful!