Young Life eSwatini (Swaziland)

Reaching the young people of eSwatini

Young Life in eSwatini continues to reach out to kids and share the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly. In 2019, Young Life reached over 1,500 kids, with the help of 2 national staff and 55 volunteer leaders.

As of 2019, 1,576 teens and counting
have been reached in eSwatini.


  • Population: 1,158,855
  • Main languages: Swati, English
  • Kids reached by YLA: 1,576

eSwatini summary

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. But this is in stark contrast for with a population of almost 1.2 million people, there is an estimated 25-30% unemployment rate. 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.

Young Life in eSwatini continues to reach out to kids and share the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly. In 2019, Young Life reached over 1,500 kids, with the help of 2 national staff and 55 volunteer leaders. Former area director and current volunteer leader, Sthe Nsibande, describes their ministry best: “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!”

Our impact

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Growth (2020)
Avg. Kids at Clubs 449 1,089 1,311 1,063 629
Avg. Kids in Campaigners 42 130 74 188 115
Number of Ministries 6 11 17 18 14
National Staff 2 1 2 3 3
DGL 0 0 0 12 2 3 50%
Kids & Leaders to Camp 551 380 607 121 261 0 N/A

Country Staff

Prayer Opportunities

Pray for God to equip us to care for our leaders better and for better retention rates. Our prayer is that more and more leaders would feel both God’s and our appreciation of the hard work they put into Young Life ministry.

Praise God that our country (divided into four regions) now has an area team leader for each region. Each one of these five committed leaders needs prayer as they learn to handle the recruitment and care of leaders while at the same time growing ministry in their areas.

Pray for a strong year in Campaigners, where our main focus will be on the care and growth of our Campaigner kids. Pray that our committed leaders would have the spiritual strength and ability to go after these kids so that they indeed grow in their faith.

Pray for growth in our Capernaum (special needs) ministry, so that in the coming years we could empower our leaders with different abilities to be eligible for employment in Young Life. Pray for Moses, a strong leader who has recruited and trained many leaders in our ministry and leads the Capernaum ministry at the high school he once attended.

Though there has been some improvement in our partnership with churches, regional teams and local sponsors/intercessors, there is certainly room for growth in this area. Please pray for continued grow in our ministry and its support.

We have three DGL students now, and so we pray for more focus and accountability as they lead Young Life in their areas. Pray that Liyandza, Simo and Mphlilisi would hold up an example to  be followed by other emerging leaders  as  they continue their work in their program.

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