women in swaziland
From the U.K., the organization Positive Women reaches to the tip of the African continent in Swaziland. With direct aid focusing on health, education and nutrition, Positive Women has successfully campaigned against poverty.

The statistics are startling. Nearly two-thirds of the population live under the poverty line and almost 33 percent of women in Swaziland have reported being sexually assaulted before the age of 18. With one of the worst HIV positive rates in Africa, nearly 15 percent of children are orphans, many due to AIDS complications. In addition, the legal system considers married women to be minors and allows them to marry as young as 13.

The campaign has been benefited by the setup and promotion of the organization. Celebrities like Joseph Morgan, from television’s The Vampire Diaries, and Koula, a television and radio host from South Africa, have helped raise awareness about the organization and the plight of people in Swaziland.

With current campaigns like Just a Million, which encourages a million people to donate at least £1, and Live Below the Line, which challenges people to live temporarily below the poverty line, Positive Women has successfully adapted viral fundraising techniques to its own organization.

Additionally, it outlines the costs of each program and the impact of individual contribution. With simple diverting – giving up a monthly Starbucks drink – an individual could pay for a child’s school tuition. The small donations make it easy for anyone to contribute to the cause and since the founding of Positive Women in 2005, hundreds of orphans have been provided education and countless women have been provided legal counsel.

While there is still much work to be done in Swaziland, the efforts of Positive Women have garnered international attention. The organization is giving people a chance who might not have otherwise received the care and opportunities that Positive Women’s efforts provide.

-Kristin Ronzi

Sources: Positive Women, The Guardian
Photo: Positive Women