Young Life in Eswatini continues to reach out to kids and share the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly. In 2023, Young Life leaders knew over 4,000 kids by name within 40 different ministries.
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) became an independent nation in 1968, after many years of colonization by the British. On the country's 50th birthday, King Mswati decided to change the country's name to Eswatini to rid the country of its colonial past. It is the only absolute monarchy within Africa, under the 29-year rule of King Mswati. With a population of almost 1.2 million people, there is an estimated 25-30% unemployment rate and 49% of the population is under 18 years of age. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought and floods continue to be a problem for the 70% of the population that relies on agriculture as their main source of income. Furthermore, Eswatini has the world’s highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. Around 80% of the population identifies as Christian, and about 40% of this subpopulation identifies as Zionist – a religious mix between Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship. The remaining population includes Islam and other mainstream religions. The country speaks English for official business purposes, but Swati is the official language of the country and widely spoken. Despite the societal struggles, Eswatini is rich in natural beauty, culture and people with a heart for Jesus.
In 2023, nearly 1,500 kids attended club and over 300 were at Campaigner groups each week in Eswatini. Former area director and current volunteer leader, Sthe Nsibande, describes their ministry, “The greatest thing is the family spirit that we’ve cultivated amongst ourselves and with kids. You can tell that the relationships between leaders and kids are life-long as each kid matures into a leader and takes the passion to evangelize through Young Life. Jesus Himself is the pillar and strength of our ministry – watching kids and leaders come to terms with this reality on a daily basis is astonishing!”
University of Eswatini Sports Camp
|Kids Known by Name||
|Avg. Kids at Clubs||629||
|Avg. Kids in Campaigners||115||
|Number of Ministries||14||
|Kids & Leaders to Camp||261||537||0||0||1,389||159%|
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