And none of it is good –
We recently received a report from the Salvation Army about how Covid was affecting life in Eswatini and it makes a pretty grim read.
As people were restricted to taking precautionary safety measures by staying at home there was also an unfortunate increase of gender based and domestic violence in many families. The country also experienced some very atrocious abusive circumstances as men and women, parents and their children were becoming what they deemed as ‘abnormal’ in that they were now expected to spend a lot of time together at home. Many children and students, majority of them being girls, became victims of sexual abuse and, in that process they were also infected with sexual transmitted diseases, whilst some got infected with HIV. Some of the boys were forced into hard labor, including using and selling drugs and alcohol and getting involved other criminal activities such as rapes, house breakings and robbing people on the streets. Hundreds of school going young girls, sadly, fell pregnant during these days, resulting in them losing their self worth and their hopes for a better future through education dashed.
It was reported in January 2021, by one Member of Parliament, Loraine Nxumalo, that statistics sourced from the Ministry of Education and Training are revealing that 261 young girls fell pregnant in the last quarter of the year 2020, and 44 of these are primary school children!