Tomorrow, we are leaving Africa and return to Norway. It has been a fantastic time in Swaziland. We have met so many inspiring people and learned so much about the country, the culture and the fantastic Swazi people. We have also met enthusiastic and inspiring young volunteers from all over the world who spend their time and their money to come to Swaziland to work for the vulnerable children. We are deeply impressed. And we have met all the children who makes the work we do so meaningful and rewarding in every possible way.
There is a moment when you forget you are volunteering to help change lives, because it’s changed yours.
Ngiyabonga kakhulu, thank you all,we will not forget you and we hope to see you again.
Friday was our last day with All out Africa. We started the day at Nkhanini and Mlindazwe NCPs where we arranged a party for the kids and the teachers with chicken, rice and sweets on the menu. The kids were happy and when we left they were all waving goodbye with balloons. We will miss them all!
Thereafter, we had invited the All out Africa staff for a late lunch at Malandela’s, a restaurant near Lidwala lodge where we live. This was highly appreciated.
Finally, in the evening we were invited to barbecue by all the other volunteers. Fantastic to meet all these young people who are using their time and money to go to Swaziland to help other people. We are deeply impressed and moved by their commitment, it has been an honor and a privilege to get to know them all.
The last week, we will on travel in South Africa to see more of the country and reflect on our recent experiences.
We will continue our support to the children in the coming years and make life better for them by ensuring food, teachers and a place to go and be taken care of every day.
It is possible to make a difference!
Thank you to all who have followed our blog the last couple of weeks and a warm thanks to all who in various ways are supporting our work. Without you, the task would be impossible.
Bayanda is 9 years old and he is a bright boy. He should have been in school but he is at Mlindazwe NCP with kids age 3 to 6. The reason is that he does not have a birth certificate. Therefore, he can not be registered at the school. All out Africa is trying to find his mother so she can sign the papers needed for him to start primary school in January, when the new school year starts.
With help from our friends and sponsors, we have donated money for the school uniform he will need to go to school. The money will stay in the safe in All out Africa until the papers are sorted out.
We wish all the best for Bayanda.
Today, We continued our work on the new kitchen in Mlindazwe NCP. We have a strong team of volunteers from all over the world and we are doing good progress on the works.
At the same time, another group of volunteers came to the NCP to measure the kids. This to monitor their progression over time. This has recently started but the results with e’Pap looks promising!
One of the oldest boys is Langelihle. He is 6 years old and measures 91 cm. His weight is 11 kg. He is severely undernourished but is now given special attention and food and is improving. He is a happy boy who likes to play football with the other children. Next year he will start in primary school.
We brought with us a couple of footballs from Norway. Yesterday, we built a football goal at one of the NCPs and today we had the opening match on the new stadium. Great success! Swaziland won the match with a strong team.
Can you hear what the teacher’s son is saying?
The opening match
Many of the children at the NCPs are undernourished and the food they get is not enough to develop them. Therefore, we are supporting a program to improve their daily meals.
e’Pap is a porridge with proteins, vitamins and minerals needed for the body. It is developed specially for undernourished kids.
Read more about e’Pap here: http://www.epap.co.za
To check the result and improvement, All out Africa are weighing the kids regularly. Tomorrow, we are weighing all the kids at the NCP Atle is currently building a kitchen in, Mlindaze. I will report the results later.
Include a few pictures from Swaziland. You know you are in Africa when the pedestrian crossing actually is a zebra or when Pumba and his friends crawls up to your fireplace because they are cold.
Today, we were invited to have lunch with a group of students from St Robert of Newminster Catholic School in England. They are traveling with World Challenge and are currently building a new kitchen at Nkhanini NCP, continuing on the work started by a group from Luxembourg last week.
More about World Challenge on their website http://www.world-challenge.co.uk
We met a group of enthusiastic and dedicated young people who are doing a great job. They were also very interested in the work we are doing to support the operation of the NCP and we agreed to stay in touch after we have returned home to see what we can do together to improve the situation for the children.
To work with vulnerable children in Swaziland can sometimes feel daunting and hopeless. Meeting these young people gives inspiration to continue and hope for a better future the children. Thank you so much.
Pictures below are from Nkhanini today
This weekend, we have spent on Rose’s farm. Rose Roques is the mother of Kim, the manager of All Out Africa. We were invited to stay on her farm.
Rose came with her husband Giles from England more than 40 years ago and has lived on the farm ever since. An amazing lady with an amazing story.
We have an increasing number of English speaking readers. Therefore, the blog will be in English from now on.
Before we left Norway, we received a lot of baby clothes made by my colleague Birgitte Stuhr. Yesterday, we went to Manzini Hospital to donate the clothes together with Eunice who works with All out Africa and Marie, one of the volunteers from Belgium.
We were very well received by the head of the Maternity Ward and they were very grateful for the donation that will be used for left behind babies and vulnerable mothers.
Each year, approximately 10.000 babies are born in this ward. That means that there is a baby born every hour, day and night, all year around. In total, the ward has 16 midwives (jordmødre) employed to take care of the births. The clinic has some resources available for premature births and other complications but as you can understand, far less than we are used to.
Below some pictures.
Weekend trip to Rose’s farm where we will stay this weekend. The story from Manzini Maternity Ward will follow tomorrow.