Cinema - Manzini Youth Centre

In 2003, when the last survey was carried out, 38.8% of the adult population in Swaziland was infected with HIV or AIDS. This figure made the small land-locked Southern African country overtake Botswana to head the most unenviable league table of them all. The average life expectancy in the country has fallen to under 33. The vast majority of victims are infected via heterosexual sex; in a country where polygamy is legal, nobody knows whether the infection level is likely to plateau soon. The pandemic has spread to almost equal levels between rural and urban areas. In 1999 King Mswati III declared the virus a ‘national disaster’. In a population of just over a million, there are 65,000 AIDS orphans.

The film at the All Saints tonight is not the sort normally shown there on a Friday night. This is no cathartic hour-and-a-half movie to help you de-stress after a working week. It is a film made about the Manzini Youth Centre, run by the Salesian order of Catholic priests and brothers to provide help for marginalised youth in the areas of Skom and Moneni on the outskirts of Manzini, the country’s most populated district. The order runs six residential homes to care for approximately 120 street kids and AIDS orphans. The film tells a day in the life of these kids. It will be very different from your average day. Drinks will be sold, and there will be a raffle. All proceeds go to charity. AG

AIDS orphans: in Swaziland nearly 39% of the adult
population is HIV infected
All Saints Centre
When? Drinks 6.30pm, film 7.15pm

The Salesians
(w) Website