Nov 4, 2019

Kudvumisa Creating Employment Opportunities For Young People

A local man doing tiling at the guest house
A local man doing tiling at the guest house

The Kudvumisa Foundation with the help of its partners is creating employment opportunities for young people in Lubombo. The organization is currently involved in a number of employment generating activities that include crawfish marketing, marula and moringa oil processing, commercial development, guest house project and of course the medical outreach and clinic.

Firstly the crawfish project has seen a number of households getting a constant income by catching the fish from the nearby rivers and getting compensation from Kudvumisa.The organisation then markets the fish in the cities.

Next is the marula and moringa oil project. A number of women are earning a living through the harvest of the seeds which they deliver to Kudvumisa for crushing into oil. With the trees growing naturally in the area they is no need for any watering or pruning. Therefore all that needs to be done is harvesting!

Besides the oil project, there is the commercial property development earmarked for the Maphiveni area. The project includes the construction of a grocery store, a gas station and and offices that will offer a number of services. Although construction hasn’t started yet the project according to Daran Rehmeyer(Director at Kudvumisa) will see hundreds of people getting employment during the construction phase as well as after the project has been completed.

The other activity that the organization is involved in is the medical outreach and the construction of the clinic at Maphiveni. With the provision of medical care to the impoverished and marginalized rural communities being at the core of the organization’s vision, more than 17 people at each given time have had a constant income for the last 11 years. And once the clinic has been opened a number of people will get jobs in areas such as nursing, pharmacy, reception, laboratory, dental care etc.

Last but not least is the guest house project. The facility has seven rooms (all en suite) and is close to completion. The construction of the guest house has seen scores of people get work at the various stages of the project. And recently with the help of Longmont Calvary Church of Colorado eight men were employed for two months to do tiling for the guest house floors and bathrooms.  On completion the guest house will provide accommodation to visiting teams, tourists and local visitors thus generating money for Kudvumisa to support the clinic and medical outreach mission. Also when complete, the guest house will employ about four people that will work at the guest house on a permanent basis.

With the number of activities Kudvumisa is doing in the Maphiveni area, the place has witnessed transformation from being known for derelict and abandoned buildings to a hive of activity that radiates hope, life, health and promise.

Tiling a bathroom at the guest house
Tiling a bathroom at the guest house

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Oct 28, 2019

KUDVUMISA GIVES FOOD TO POVERTY-STRICKEN PATIENTS

Pastor Bheki with one of the beneficiaries
Pastor Bheki with one of the beneficiaries

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), good nutrition, defined as an adequate and well-balanced diet, is the mainstay of good health. On the other hand, WHO warns that poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity to diseases and increase vulnerability to infections. And it is on this basis that the Kudvumisa Foundation was recently in the communities of Maphiveni, Shewula and Vuvulane Section 19 to distribute food hampers to patients.

 

Kudvumisa, through its Community Health Intervention Program for eSwatini (CHIPS) works in the remote areas of Lubombo(eSwatini) where the majority of people are very poor living far below the poverty datum line. The situation for many is so dire to the extent that there is no guarantee for the next meal. And if one is lucky to get a meal it is hardly a balanced diet but just something to ensure survival.

 

Now when you combine poor nutrition, poor health and lack of medication the situation becomes quite dreadful for the patient. But thanks to CHIPS and its partners the people of Lubombo have access to good health care despite living in marginalized and difficult to reach villages. With the medical challenges taken care of by CHIPS it is the lack of a good diet that tends to slow down the patient progress towards regaining their full fitness.

 

In September together with their partners, Kudvumisa visited three communities and donated food packs to seven struggling families. Some of the beneficiaries happen to be CHIPS’ patients while others are people that the team found bedridden and unable to help themselves.  The hampers valued at about $USD15.00 each included beans, maize meal, bread, fish, sugar, tea leaves, candles, matches, soap, cooking oil, soup powder and salt.

 

According to Pastor Bheki from CHIPS' pastoral care unit, the gesture was well received by the patients and care givers. He highlighted that the beneficiaries are very grateful to Kudvumisa and its partners for coming to their rescue at a time when they were famishing with no one to cry to. Pastor Bheki also emphasized that the food packs will go a long way in helping the patients in their nutrition requirements. “Some recipients are HIV positive while some are suffering from other illnesses. The food parcels will help address the challenge of malnutrition because most these people have no source of income.”

 

In addition to the groceries, the patients received a blanket each, a gift that will go a long way in helping them keep warm in Eswatini’s volatile weather patterns where night temperatures can plummet to below 50°F.

Pastor Bheki handing over food to a patient
Pastor Bheki handing over food to a patient
One of the patients receiving a blanket
One of the patients receiving a blanket

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Oct 1, 2019

CHIPS RESCUES TODDLER BURNT BY HOT COALS

Aphiwe walking with Jessie Bohannon
Aphiwe walking with Jessie Bohannon

By Simbarashe L. Manyeruke & Clara Mahlalela

Aphiwe is a 3-year-old girl that’s lives with her grandmother in Section 19 of Vuvulane district, deep inside the lowveld sugar plantations. With no electrical power in their dwellings, villagers use firewood to make meals and also warm themselves during the winter months when the temperatures plummet to unbearable levels. But one day a normal meal preparation routine would leave the little girl’s face severely burnt.

 

Sometime in June 2019 after a long day of playing with her little friends on a dusty compound of Section 19, Aphiwe was called by grandma into the edladleni, a small stick and mud hut used as a kitchen in rural Eswatini. By the time she got into the hut granny had already started the fire and supper was boiling in the pot.

 

While the cooking continued granny would discover that she was missing an important ingredient for the meal and dashed to the main house leaving Aphiwe all by herself. But while she was in the house granny heard a sharp cry from the edladleni. Rushing back, she found young Aphiwe rolling on the ground in agony having fallen from where she was seated at the edge of the fireplace. The hot coals burnt the edge of her right eye down to the cheek.

 

The ill-prepared grandma immediately sought help from neighbours but to no avail. Without transport to ferry Aphiwe to the nearest health centre granny summoned all her first aid skills in order to help her granddaughter. But unfortunately she ended up using wrong substances something that made Aphiwe’s situation worse. The night proved to be the longest in history for both granny and Aphiwe as the little girl cried uncontrollably only for her to go quiet in the early hours of the morning because she no longer had any power to cry.

 

However, the new day would bring good news for the toddler and her guardian. The Kudvumisa team visited the community as part of the Days for Girls initiative where they distributed sanitary wear to girls. When granny saw the angels sent by God she rushed to the CHIPS car with the child on her back.

 

Tema, a nurse with Kudvumisa, together with two HTS counselors dropped everything they were doing and attended to Aphiwe. Upon examining the wound it was it was found to be only a first degree burn which was good news. Soon after being treated the young girl was seen walking around hand-in-hand with Jessie Bohannon, the nurses’ coordinator for CHIPS. From the young girl’s face it was clear that she knew that she was on her way to recovery.

 

Two days later the CHIPS team passed through Section 19 in order to see the young girl’s progress and found out that she was feeling much better. Aphiwe’s grandmother couldn’t hide her joy as she chatted with the CHIPS’ staff. “Thank you so much CHIPS .I don't know what I would have done without your help,” said the relieved gogo with tears of joy rolling down her cheeks.

 

And in September 2019 CHIPS staff would again pay the little girl a visit. By the grace of God the young girl had zero signs of having been burnt on the face. Her skin was smooth with no blemishes a signal that she was fully healed!

 

Although CHIPS managed to attend to Aphiwe, the organization is unable to provide the level of assistance it has in mind due to financial constraints. Instead of only looking at inflows of funds the organization also continues to monitor its running costs with the hope of saving where possible. And one area that has been identified for long term cost saving is electrical power at the Maphiveni clinic. If the facility was to be powered via solar energy then the money currently being used to pay for electricity could be channeled toward the organization’s core business of going into the communities to provide health care service.

 

Besides cutting on costs, solar power will also guarantee continuous and reliable power for the clinic given the fact that hydropower supply is not that stable in many African countries. For instance, should there be a power load shedding today at Maphiveni, it goes without saying that the clinic’s operations will be affected. Therefore solar is the way to go!

Young Aphiwe receiving new clothes
Young Aphiwe receiving new clothes

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