Tag Archive for Swaziland

IUPUI student designs safe house for children in Swaziland

photo swaziland safe house

An interior design student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has designed a “safe house” that will be built to protect child-led families in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa who desperately need safe places to live.

A full-sized section of the safe house, built by the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, will be unveiled at 6 p.m. on February 18, at an exhibit of photographs that explores the lives of these children, “Hope Seekers: Survival of Southern African Child-Led Households in the Shadow of HIV.” The section of the safe house will be displayed in the main lobby at Hine Hall from February 19 – 25.

“The exhibit tells the stories of these children and really allows people to enter into an experience of gaining more of an intimate look at the child-led households in South Africa,” said Cynthia Prime, CEO of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach. SOHO is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization taking a leading role in efforts to help educate, nurture and feed the child-led families.

The number of households in Swaziland led by children, some as young as 8, is mushrooming, resulting from an HIV/AIDS pandemic that is creating a new orphan every 14 seconds.

The 800-square-foot sustainable safe house will be constructed of local materials and feature a single sloping roof and a rainwater collection and filtration system. Safety features include windows placed high on the walls and an outdoor courtyard surrounded by high walls. Six orphan girls will live in the safe house that provides communal sleeping and living spaces.

In a written presentation of her design, Earley wrote that the children of Swaziland have very few adults to cherish and protect them from the dangers of their world. “This is why the sustainable housing units are such an important endeavor to start to build the nourishing community these children so desperately need. Building this groundwork to create a safe haven and a means to a more thriving reality is hopefully just the beginning for these six girls that will occupy this homestead.

“As AIDS cheats these kids of parents, it is common that the surviving family also will cheat them out of anything moveable or of value from their remaining homes,” Earley said. “Everything the children knew to be theirs is ripped away from them along with their parents. For this reason, it’s essential that furniture be built into the walls of the home or fixed together resulting in immobility. It is my goal that the young girls of the homestead will feel safe, secure and confident in their permanent dwelling.”

Herron exhibit provides intimate look at child-led households created by AIDS pandemic

photo hope seekers
“Hope Seekers: Survival of Southern African Child-Led Households in the Shadow of HIV”
February 5 – February 22, 2014
Marsh Gallery, Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. Michigan St.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Swaziland is creating an epidemic of its own — an exploding number of households in the South African kingdom that are headed by children, some as young as eight or nine.

Swaziland has the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS cases, with one in four people infected by the virus. The adult AIDS death rate results in a new orphan every 14 seconds – creating the phenomenon of child-led families.

Herron School of Art and Design on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus this month is hosting an exhibit of photographs exploring the lives of children in these families.

“It tells the stories of these children and really allows people to enter into an experience of gaining more of an intimate look at the child-led households in South Africa,” said Cynthia Prime, CEO of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO), the Indianapolis-based non-profit organization taking a leading role in efforts to help educate, nurture and feed the child-led families.

Special activities associated with the exhibit include:

  • A panel discussion, followed by a book signing and reception at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall.
  • An unveiling of a life-size prototype of sustainable, safe and secure housing designed by IUPUI engineering and technology students for orphans in Swaziland, followed by presentations by students from Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, 6 p.m., Feb. 18, Eskenazi Hall.

“This exhibition represents great collaboration across IUPUI’s many schools and programs. We are excited about the momentum we’ve built working in partnership with SOHO, as we increase IUPUI’s connections with Indianapolis, Swaziland, and the world,” said Jane Luzar, dean of the IUPUI Honors College.

In addition to photographs taken by Josef Kissinger, the exhibit includes artifacts created by Swaziland children.

The artifacts include a large toy vehicle, called a Kombi, built out of wire, soft drink cans, and bottle caps; and a floor mat made from garbage bags and candy wrappers. “These articles show that these children have promise and creativity,” Prime said. “They are called hope seekers because if they had options, they could change the world they live in.”