South Africa in crisis
As of May 2020, South Africa has 228 822 registered NPOs, which focus on the needs of children, young people remain exposed to abuse and neglect. “By the age of five, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed, yet 63% of children in South Africa do not have access to early childhood development. Eighty percent of children in Grade 4 cannot read,” Moskoff pointed out.
According to Baby savers, “it is estimated that around 10000 babies are abandoned every year in South Africa with the vast majority found dead. About 3.5 million children are orphans. Yet, last year, only 1 033 were adopted.”
According to the Children’s Institute, as many as 500 children die annually of abuse and neglect, with the Daily Maverick (June 2021) stating that “studies show that nearly every child has experienced …. abused, beaten, neglected … or been exposed to it.”
Save the Children South Africa (19 Feb. 2022) wrote that more than 350 children were murdered in South Africa between October and December 2021, with the Daily Maverick (23 Nov. 2022) writing that up to three children are murdered every day in South Africa. Murders have increased by 50 %, according to South African statistics in 2023.
Children are also affected by HIV through the loss of family members. In South Africa, more than 2 million children have been orphaned by HIV and AIDS. There are, at present, at least 270 000 children under the age of 13 who are infected with HIV or live with those infected, which exposes them to the virus anyway. Orphans are particularly vulnerable to HIV because of economic and social insecurities; they are often at risk of being forced into sex, having sex in exchange for support, and typically become sexually active earlier than other children. Over 40% of children have experienced some sort of sexual abuse.
We do not have an option but to begin in our own sphere to alleviate the consequences of this crisis, by improving the lives of the resultant orphans.
“Do not pray for tasks equal to our power, pray for power equal to the task.”
people living with HIV
adult HIV prevalence (ages 15-49)
new HIV infections
adults on antiretroviral treatment*
children on antiretroviral treatment*
*All adults/children living with HIV
Source: UNAIDS Data 2021