Jan 31, 2020

The New Complex Set To Unlock Hundreds of Jobs

Economic Development Complex
Economic Development Complex

Before starting the organization, the founders of Kudvumisa discovered that poverty and health were correlated prompting them to develop a vison where the organization would seek to address these two fundamental issues concurrently.

If someone is poor it goes without saying that they may not afford a good balanced diet. Because of a compromised diet the person becomes susceptible to illnesses. And if they fall ill and even if they manage to get access to medication they still need good food to support their recovery and boost their immune system. Unfortunately with many villagers living far below the poverty line it remained a huge risk for one to fall sick.

The Kudvumisa Foundation mission statement reads, “Kudvumisa Foundation is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate health care and empowering the disenfranchised to escape the grip of crushing poverty in the impoverished, marginalized, and isolated communities of Eswatini.”

Unlike many organizations, Kudvumisa Foundation deliberately placed its offices right inside the communities they serve rather than base themselves in a city. That way the organization managed to feel the pain of the villagers and think of ways of alleviating their suffering. One such project is the commercial development project earmarked for Maphiveni just a stone throw away from the Kudvumisa offices.

This massive project will see a well-known supermarket chain put up a grocery store there. As part of the project there will be a gas station and many other ancillary services being offered at Maphiveni. The project once completed will change the face of the area currently dominated by derelict buildings that have long become home to rodents and reptiles. Most importantly the commercial development will see hundreds of jobs being unlocked thus bringing hope and a source of livelihood to the less privileged communities.  And for Kudvumisa? Sustainable income to continue the health and economic development outreach.

The project which was scheduled to start in 2019 will commence anytime soon subject to a decision from the bank. “We are still awaiting the response from the bank. It can come anytime from now and we continue to be optimistic as we know the impact the project has for the people of Lubombo,” said Daran Rehmeyer, one of the Kudvumisa Foundation directors. “Please join us as we pray for a positive response from the bank.”

Once started the project is set to immediately employ scores of people doing construction work. And at completion the grocery store, the gas station and other services will see hundreds of locals getting permanent jobs. The commercial centre will not only transform Maphiveni into a notable place on the Eswatini map but also help pull many people out of the cruel jaws of poverty.

Kudvumisa Site Today
Kudvumisa Site Today

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Jan 27, 2020

Volunteer Teams Full the Gap

Dr. Lara examines a newborn at a homestead
Dr. Lara examines a newborn at a homestead

Kudvumisa Foundation has twelve people on its staff (the Directors are volunteers) of which six are on the medical team proper. The team comprises two qualified nurses and four phlebotomists. This medical staff is doing a fantastic job going out into the communities on a daily basis to treat patients. Dubbed CHIPS, an acronym for Community Health Intervention Program for eSwatini the team offers HIV testing, ART initiation and refills and attend to general health complaints from its clients.

Although CHIPS goes into the communities every day the medical needs of the villagers are so huge and it’s nearly impossible to cover every inch of the region, let alone attend to all complaints at one goal.

If the organization was well funded the solution was to increase the staff by bringing in more nurses etc. But because Kudvumisa runs on a shoestring budget it then relies on volunteer medical outreach teams that come from the US and other countries to assist in providing medical care in the communities as well as do HIV testing in the rural communities.

In 2019 Kudvumisa was privileged to have at four medical teams visit the Lubombo region to do clinics in the communities. In most areas the response was very overwhelming with an average of 150 patients being attended to per day. The outreach clinics offered general consultations, pharmacy, HIV testing and counselling, pastoral care as well as reading glasses.

Not only did the visiting teams do clinics, they also took the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with the local staff; something that has helped improve the quality of service Kudvumisa offers to its clients.

Speaking of the visiting teams, Teresa Rehmeyer, the medical director of Kudvumisa said, “We are grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the visiting medical teams. This year we have a number of teams scheduled to visit our communities. We look forward to a year where we will be able to reach more people.”

Regarding the lean staff on the medical department, she said, “We would want to have more nurses on board but our budget limits us. We continue to appeal for sponsorship in this area. Even if its supporting a single nurse for a year, that will go a long way in helping us reach more people in the poor communities we work in.”

So far two medical teams from US have confirmed that they will be coming to work with Kudvumisa this year. One is scheduled for end of May 2020 and the other in August. Judging by the number of people that attend the outreach clinics it is clear that there is a huge in terms of the service being provided currently. Therefore you can help by praying for us and also consider joining a team that is coming for an outreach. If you are unable to visit eSwatini don’t feel left out, you can still make your impact felt in the lives of the less privileged by giving a thought to making a once-off contribution or committing to the monthly option.

An "under the tent" community clinic
An "under the tent" community clinic
Staff training on Trauma Healing
Staff training on Trauma Healing

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Dec 30, 2019

Discovering Markets and Developing Skills

Crawfish Processing
Crawfish Processing

Our focus in combating poverty in the rural Lubombo region of Eswatini has always focused on finding local resources with little or no local value and connecting them to markets where they do have value.  And training people in the communities to collect and process the resources to add value to bring more of the money into the local economy.

Freshwater crawfish have been a favorite focus of ours.  The crawfish have no local value as emaSwati don't see them as food and are generally wary of anything with large claws (which these have).  But there is a market we have been able to connect to in South Africa. Exporting the crawfish requires processing the live caught crawfish: boiling, rapid cooling, sorting packaging and freezing.  Each of the steps is critical to ensure quality and consistency.

So while the local value chain originally was limited to just catching the crawfish, it has expanded now to include local processing, all of which requires training in proper food handling techniques.

While more and more of the processing and value chain is occurring locally, we are still tied to the expensive and erratic electricity grid here.  Refrigeration, freezers, and even lighting place a huge cost burden on the organization.  We are still seeking to replace the majority of the daily daylight hour electricity usage with solar that is sourced locally and can be serviced locally.

Please help in our quest to alleviate poverty in Eswatini and to be as "green" as possible while doing it.

First set up
First set up
Final Destination Preparation
Final Destination Preparation

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