You are a middle-aged woman living in Ka Phunga, Swaziland, _ older than most; Life expectancy is less than 40 years. You have seen many deaths in your community from HIV/AIDS, leaving hundreds of orphans. There are still many sick people. You hear of a death almost every day.
- How do you feel? ~ Ashamed at the stigma that goes with this pandemic?
- A strong feeling that something must be done?
- Distressed or angry that the rest of the world seems unaware?
- That it looks as if you are the one who must do something, when you were looking forward to a more restful life as a grandmother.
You remember from your childhood, how the land produced all that people needed. The community lived simply, but there were fields full of maize, and no-one went hungry. Now, much of the land is uncultivated. So many people of working age have died, and orphans cannot work the land and attend school.
- How do you feel about the problem of trying to feed all of the orphans? ~ Can the food be grown locally or must it be bought?
- Where will the money come from to feed all of the orphans, or to buy seed, fertilizer and tools?
- How can the orphans be helped to begin to produce their own food?
Ka Phunga is up in the mountains, far from tarmac roads. Orphans and sick people are in scattered homes spread over a large area. You and your volunteers travel on foot. Sick people get treatment too late, or not at all. Many suffer chronic or fatal illness for which we would quickly and easily obtain treatment. It is hard to get supplies of food to many of the orphans. For a few days each year, visitors from other countries come to work with you, and for a short time you have the benefit of a vehicle.
- How do you feel about your isolation from the modern world?
- Do you feel supported, _ by your king, _ by your government, _ by people from other countries?
- What would you like the visitors to do when they return to their homes?
The young people of your country are giving up hope. Many would leave, if they could, to make a living in another country. You were brought up to be proud of your country, its king, and its traditions. It is a beautiful country, which could feed itself. You are a Christian.
- What do you hope and pray for, for the future of the children growing up in Ka Phunga now?