African Village School, Ekudzeni, Swaziland, South Africa


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Mungo's Pre School, The Betty Friend Home of Hope & The Busisiwe Vilakati Feeding Programme

Our next project is even more exciting but sadly has suddenly taken on a greater urgency. We have acquired land on which to build a pre-school and orphan's project. The basic outline is that it will operate as a pre-school in the morning and then, when school finishes at 2pm, our orphans will come to the project to play, do their homework and more importantly be fed 365 days a year and be able to receive help and advice. At the moment our orphans return to their villages after school and we have no idea how many eat again before school the next day. Obviously weekends and holiday periods are also a problem - bought sadly into focus last week when we received news of the death of one of our girls.

Busisiwe was only 11 years old and looking forward to returning to grade 4 in January following the school's 6 week break. She lost both her parents 6 years ago and was being cared for by her elderly grandmother. Tragically Busisiwe's future was destroyed when, during the holidays, she starved to death. We are devastated by this news and now, more than ever, are determined to raise the money needed to ensure none of our children ever find themselves in this horrific situation again.

Thanks to the generous donation of £21,000 from Angus Lawson Memorial Trust Lynn and Robert were able to return to Swaziland in April and December 2010 to commence this project.

Mungo's Pre-School and toilet block have now been completed and The Betty Friend Home of Hope, which will be used as an orphan's care point/emergency accommodation, is currently awaiting the finishing touches. Ashly Ngomane has been appointed as pre school teacher and Nelsiwe Shongwe, wife of our project manager Senzo, has been appointed as house mother and will also commence a 2 year diploma course in Early Years Education on 29th January 2011.

The daily feeding programme is up and running, our maize is dry and vegetables ready to eat. It is staffed by local mothers from the community who volunteer their time every day to ensure no child goes hungry. It will run 7 days a week, 365 days a year to prevent any more of our children suffering the way Busiswe did - we were too late to save her but her legacy will be great - no child from her community will ever go without food again.


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