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Real lives

All children are born with the same rights. Regardless of race or ethnic group, the country they are born in, whether they are a boy or girl, rich or poor, living with disabilities or with HIV – all children must have full opportunity to become a productive member of society, and must have the right to speak up and be heard.

Real lives takes you into the lives of children and young people in Swaziland and the communities in which they live and tells the stories of how their lives have been touched by UNICEF. Learn about the challenges they face as well as their dreams and hopes to better protect their rights in a world stained with poverty, violence and AIDS. Click on the links below to read their stories.

School-community partnership to fight child abuse in Malindza
August 2011 - Malindza is a quiet rural community; it lies on a stretch of the national route that links Swaziland’s industrial town of Manzini and the sugarcane producing villages of Simunye and Mhlume in the lowveld.

Breaking with Tradition, Mother Exclusively Breastfeeds Eight Healthy Children
2008 - Nonhlanhla Nxumalo, a Rural Health Motivator in Mantambe in Shiselweni, lives the life she preaches to her community.

A Rural Drama Club Tackles the Tough Issues
Langeni, December 2007 -- Well spoken with a broad smile, Bongiwe is a natural actress. Even when her stage is a big dusty field at the side of the road, she shines.

Debating the future, Njabulo chooses education
Mbuluzi, September 2007 –Njabulo Dube was not surprised that his team was among the top finishers in the school debates on child trafficking.

Connecting the dots for healthy children
Mbabane, September 2007 – The nurse connects the most recent dot on the chart, creating a slow, but steady line that rises toward the top of the page. She places the chart back in the clear, protective folder and pins it to the wall behind the bed.

Tackling Malnutrition with Therapeutic Feeding
Mbabane, September 2007 – Dr. Thembe fixes his gaze on 13-month-old Lisa. She is tiny, lost in the bright red jumper that bunches around her small frame. Despite her small size, her eyes are big and bright; she catches the doctor’s gaze and holds it.

Disaster Relief: Providing hope for the future
Mvuma, August 2007 - “We don’t know what we will do for our future,” said Elizabeth Mavuso. “Everything we plant just dies and these people who are giving us help will not give to us forever.”

Despite hunger and homelessness, Sandile dreams of school
Mvuma, August 2007 - Fourteen-year-old Sandile Dlamini sits on a mat outside the burned huts of his grandparent’s homestead. He is shy, but smiles often. He looks down at his bare feet before he answers the question about what he hopes for.

Giving Children a Voice Through Theatre
eLangeni, January 2007 - Percy Maphanga knows children have something important to say. He knows this because he learns something from them everyday.

A sister's struggle to put education first
2007 - The year 2006 was the hardest of Thandeka’s 18 years of life. Her mother passed away, leaving her and her three sisters alone. She was separated from two of her sisters in order to finish schooling, and she was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).

Brother and caretaker
2007 - Fifteen-year-old Samkeliso is the head of his family. He balances school with raising his two siblings, brother Thulani, 12, and sister Lungile, 11. He has been their sole caretaker since their father died in 2005.

Making one orphan family visible
2007 - Khetho and Sanele lost their father in 2001. Their mother died a year later when the boys were 13 and 10 respectively.



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