Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students

by Moya Trust (also known as Moya Centre)
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Holistic School Sponsorship for 20+ Swati Students
Mask and Tippy Tap Education Session
Mask and Tippy Tap Education Session

Although this has been a very strange year for school sponsorship, given the Covid-19 pandemic the world is currently facing, the year did start off normal, and so there is a great deal to report on regarding this project from before schools closed, and also how Moya Centre has been able to support sponsored students since the closure of schools as well. There are still plenty of unknowns on how this school year will continue, and we will be sure to update our donors on that, and how we will be handling it, in the next report.

This year, the management team at Moya has decided to make a change in our sponsorship selection process. This change is the addition of a re-application process for current sponsored students entering into form 4. This means that students will apply when the originally seek sponsorship, and again when they are approaching their final two years of high school. We see this as a way to reconnect with our students, some of whom had been with us for three years by that point, while also building confidence and useful skills. Since so many high-school aged children are in need of sponsorship in Lobmaba Lomdzala, this also helps us to guarantee we are selecting the right students who are willing to put the effort in to secure their own future. The new process included a short written application followed by a one-on-one interview. For almost all of these students, this was their first opportunity to experience such a process. We feel that it was an experience they will consider useful when they are seeking a job, or filling out tertiary applications once they graduate high school.

To provide the most transparent picture of how this process goes, we will take you through the stages of what happened in order for out Holistic High School Sponsorship beneficiaries to be prepared and in the classroom by school opening on January 21st, 2020.

  • Selection Process and Homesteads visits- Forty five (45) new learners wereselected to join Moya’s holistic sponsorship program this year. The selection process was done through the Guidance Teachers and Administrators of the eight (8) Moya Partner schools, the three (3) Chiefdoms working with Moya Centre through the Community Advisory Council (CAC) and also a few came from the Moya PSS department through cases.Homestead visits were also conducted for learners joining Moya Centre, the visits help the organization to know the home situation of the learner, the support they have at home level and mostly if that support will see them through their education years.
  • Form 3 interviews and selection- Two (2) sessions of interviews were conducted to accommodate all Moya Sponsored learners going into form 4 including those which are to repeat form 4 in 2020. A total of thirty-seven (37) learners were interviewed. The interview was a written and oral one. The selection results were as follows: Fully passed interview-23, 1 year probation- 10, Out of Moya Care-4         Note- for the first time Moya Centre has conducted the above mentioned exercise. Some of the reasons the Organization embarked on this exercise is to offer learners a chance to practice and be familiar with interview process, value the sponsorship of Moya, realize their own talents and skills, to raise awareness of what other Moya programs offer to them e.g. motivational workshops, door size gardens etc.
  •  Meetings with parents/guardians-Two (2) meetings were held at Moya Centre with the Moya Sponsored learners with their parents/guardians. The second meeting was to accommodate parents/guardians and learners who missed the first one. The meetings were both highly successful and learners and parents/guardians were reminded about the Moya policies and procedures, the importance of garden work and how it will aid them with food shortage and skill learning. The Psycho-social support officers talked about how learners can increase their self-esteem through communication, which is the theme for year 2020 at Moya Centre. A member of the Eswatini Royal Police (Malkerns Police Station) talked to the learners about the dangers of substance abuse. She also empowered parents why it is important to support, supervise and be present in their children’s lives and educational journey. She used case scenarios of cases where they think as police if the parents/guardian were observant, the case would not have happened or escalated. The schools representative of the Lobamba Lomdzala Umphakatsi also emphasized on the theme of parents/guardians supporting their children. He also encouraged the learners to take their schoolwork serious and also explore their other skills and talent. A total of 131 parents/guardians and 132 Moya Sponsored learners attended and benefitted from both meetings. For late selections or those who missed both meetings, they were informed on what was discussed at the meetings on an individual basis.
  • Child profiles and selection process (new learners) - The process of profiling each student every year is crucial to our program being holistic in nature.A great deal can change in a year, and so we require every sponsored student, both new and old,  to sit down with a Psycho-social Support officer and go over general circumstances of their lives. This allows us to provide these kids with all the support thy need, both inside and outside of school, and both emotionally and tangibly. A total of 132 Moya Centre Sponsored learners (including the 45 new ones) were profiled. During the child profile exercise the PSS department attend to all sponsored learners checking on their personal details, health and well-being, food security and availability, personal safety, social and emotional well- being.
  •  Findings from this year exercise were as follows:

               Lights- 26 learners were identified to be in need of light assistance.

              Blankets- 6 learners were identified to be in need of blankets assistance.

             Counseling-During the child profile exercise a total of 29 Moya Sponsored learners were identified               to be in need of counselling. The learners were counselled for resilience and encouragement,                           trauma, sexually reproductive health, emotional abuse, peer pressure and trauma after sexual abuse.               Please note: the sexual abuse case happened during the school holidays and her case was reported               to the Malkerns DCS police by her grand- mother. At Moya she received counselling. If it had not yet                 been reported, Moya PSS department would have immediately involved the police as we always do                 in such situations.

            Monitoring- all the counselled learners will receive monitoring from Moya PSS officers though their                  schools, by phone in some cases and also 4 will be monitored by Moya PSS caregivers at the                          community level.

            Food Security and availability-One learner joined the monthly food list this year. The Master list with              the 2020 base line on gardens was forwarded to the Healthy Pro-Active Living (HPL) department to                  work on the food security and food availability for Sponsored learners through the Door Size Gardens              (DSG) project.

  • Social Welfare and Deputy Prime Ministers Office Educational Grants- All sponsored students need to be part of the national social welfare system due to their circumstances. This means that the government does pay a portion of their schooling while Moya makes up the rest, as well as providing the stationary, uniforms, guidance and support that they need. Every learner is entitled to this government support, and Moya’S sponsorship is there to supplement it for those who desperately need that extra support, and would still not be able to attend school with only the educational grant provided by the government. However, we often run into students who have been overlooked, or are just entering high school (primary school is free and does not require this process) and so we work to assist these kids in receiving the benefits they deserve from their government.
  • Thirty-nine (39) learners from the Moya Sponsorship program and also from the community were  assisted to attain Government Education Grants through the Social Welfare (S.W) offices and the Deputy Prime Ministers Office (DPMO). Learners were either assisted by the PSS officers, PSS caregivers and the PSS free-lance caregivers. This intervention was also at its peak during January and February. All the cases (39) which were referred through Moya staff and caregivers were successful.
  •  Stationary and uniforms- all Moya Centre sponsored learners has been supported with stationary and uniforms according to their needs and requirements of their respective schools. Stationary and uniform collection is conducted at Moya Centre after each learner has finished with the child profile exercise. Other uniform supplies learners get it from schools as communicated with uniform teachers, process is on-going.

At this point, our sponsored students were fully prepared to begin the school year.

Another benefit our female sponsored students received was attendance to our International Women’s Day event, which took place on March 13th at House on Fire in Malkerns. This event is meant to educate, inspire and entertain all of the adolescent girls and young women across every program Moya offers. The main theme is self-love, self-respect, and self-worth. The topic for this year was environmental sustainability. Attendance to this event is just one of many advantages the kids get when they become part of the Moya family.

Unfortunately, just a week after the International Women’s Day event, the world would be shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic and only about 8 weeks into the first term, schools were closed and have not opened since.  

Not only did schools close, but Moya has been unable to conduct our yearly motivational workshops with our students as well, due to the national lockdown and restrictions on gatherings that are still in place. We are abiding by every new regulation that is introduced to keep our staff, our beneficiaries and our communities as safe as possible.

Fortunately, we were able to receive emergency funding assistance to provide relief to our beneficiaries and their families in what has become an extremely difficult economic time. We have also put a great deal of effort into educating and training our fieldworkers in proper prevention techniques, and how to share accurate information within their communities while keeping themselves safe. Starting in April, Moya was able to allocate some funding to provide food parcels for the education department beneficiaries- this included all of our sponsored students and preschool students. Yet, we knew it just was not enough, yet we saw that we had the capacity to do much more in urgent response to the pandemic to help our communities.

We worked very hard to secure additional, local funding, and even started a new campaign on GlobalGiving. Through those efforts, we were able to raise enough money to do a much larger parcel distribution. Sponsored students benefited from this initiative as part of the 625 recipients. Not only did they each receive a large food parcel to feel themselves and a family of up to 10 people for a whole month, they also received seedlings (and reminded that now is the perfect time to spruce their mandatory gardens), and materials to build a tippy tap (for proper hand hygiene) on their homesteads. They received masks and sanitizer, and were educated on proper use of both. The PSS department also met with many of the sponsored students to make sure they are coping well in such a strange, confusing time. The initiative was so engaging, while still following all regulations, and proved very successful- shining a positive light on Moya Centre, and our ability to very quickly adapt to the needs of our communities. Even with less sustainable but necessary endeavours, we always try to take the holistic approach for our children and their families.

As always, we have our donors, both near and far, to thank for the success of Moya Centre’s projects. Without having the resources, our good intentions would not be able to make it nearly as far. We would love for you to see everything Moya has been up to in the last year, and so we have attached the recently published 2019 Stakeholder Report for you to enjoy. Please also enjoy the photos of our sponsored students, and our engagements with them so far in 2020.

Sponsored Students with PSS Staff pre-Covid
Sponsored Students with PSS Staff pre-Covid
Parcels are Ready!
Parcels are Ready!

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The last few months have been the most important for Moya's Holistic School Sponsorship: Intake time!  Because of what we have achieved on the GlobalGiving platform for this project, along with a few local sponsors, we HAVE been able to maintain our Holistic School Sponsorship Program for 2020. 

We have decided to do things a bit differently this year. In the past, our holistic sponsorship could be given to a student for as long as five years. This year, we have decided to create a practical experience for our students going into form 4 where they re-applied for the remaining two years. This was a practical life skills lesson, as for many, this was their first experience in writing an application and being interviewed. Almost all of the students, except for some of those who had failed, and those who did not show up and did not give a reason, were kept on for the remaining two years of high school. Once this part of selection was complete, intake of new students excitedly began. We should note that due to funding shortages, we did not take a new intake last year, making this a very exciting time for Moya and the community. 

A total of 45 new students were selected to be part of the Moya Centre Holistic Sponsorship Program, bringing our total Sponsored Students right up to 133. We are looking to only maintain the program as it is a number in which we can handle providing the whole package of sponsorship, including the very important element of psycho-social support whenever needed. 

Of the 45 newly selected students, eight of whom were selected for Form 1 based on their need and the high marks they received on Grade 7 exams. An additional seven students were chosen for Form 1 based on need, and of course their spirit to succeed. We usually do not accept a great deal of Form 1 students, as high school is a new world, and we often prefer to see them make it through their first year before providing sponsorship for the remaining four years. This sometimes means the families have to scrape together the funds, or another resource is used to pay school fees for that one year, which also shows how much the student want to succeed in high school, and sheds light on the support network they have. However, for those who really would have no option but to receive our sponsorship, or not attend at all, Moya will intervene. This year, that was about one third of all students accepted. 

One young man who found himself in such a situation was Melusi. Melusi came to Moya Centre one day on his own, asking to speak to a psycho-social support officer. He explained to the PSS officer that he did very well on his grade seven exams, despite facing quite a bit of adversity in his home life. His mother passed away some years ago.  It is difficult for him to study with no electricity, and sometimes he doesn't get the support he needs from his father. However, he absolutely loves school and it had not occurred to him that he may have already had his last day in a classroom, until his father confronted him about their circumstances. The day before he came to Moya, Melusi's dad had took him by surprise by telling him he would start his new job as a cowboy, which is someone who looks after another family’s cows while they are grazing each day. Being a cowboy is known as one of the lowest paying piece jobs there is. Yet, this is the picture Melusi’s dad had for his son’s future, because he knew he could not afford even a portion of his school fees. Melusi was familiar  Moya Centre. Since he was from our catchment area, he stood a chance to receive support. He had not been involved with Moya prior to this initial visit, but it was so clear, from just a few minutes after he began speaking, how much this sponsorship would mean to him. He arrived in the office, and almost immediately, tears streamed down his face. He was embarrassed by his situation and desperation, but would soon realize that Moya is a place that provides comfort, support and opportunities for growth for kids just like him. Without even being sure that he would be selected, as he would still need to apply, Melusi left the office that day with a new found sense of hope, and it was fulfilled when several staff members who witnessed this interaction vouched for him during the selection meeting. We know Melusi will shine with Moya sponsorship and support. Our psycho-social support caregivers and staff, who spend most of their time out  the community, have already noticed a difference in Melusi, he has gained so much confidence and joy knowing he is not alone, and he now has a full support system to help lift him into the resilient, successful young man that we all know he is.

Aside from the 15 selected for Form 1, 16 new students were selected for Form 2, four were selected for Form 3, 6 for Form 4 and 4 for Form 5. We do try to support those students whose families were able to pay at the start of their high schools careers, but unfortunate events have changed their circumstances. We prioritize helping those who have already made it through to a certain point, but due to financial difficulties, or the death of a parent/guardian, they can no longer attend school without support. These young people often benefit equally as much from the psycho-social support element of the program, than from the school sponsorship. It should be noted that since we work with partner schools, often times they will refer students (both grade 7 primary and high school students) who they know as being most needy, or being at risk for dropping out because of lack of school fees.

Once the 45 new students were chosen, two parent/guardian and student meetings took place, one for returning sponsored students and one for the new additions. Much of the Moya staff takes part in these meetings, as it is a holistic sponsorship and every department is involved in their success.  Students and their guardians are told or reminded of what is expected of them in order to receive sponsorship. This includes building and maintaining a door-sized garden on their homestead for food production (responsibility, self-reliance and sustainability) as well as attending all informational meetings and motivational workshops. After these meetings, it is fully understood what Moya will provide, and what the students and their families have to do to maintain the sponsorship.

After the students have attended this meeting, they are qualified to receive uniforms, backpacks, stationary, etc. which is based on their form and what partner school they are attending. Of course all first year students receive all items unless the school is supplying it. This is a really special and engaging time for Moya staff with the students. We take time with each student to pick out uniform items and shoes that fit, and make sure they receive the proper stationary, while also giving them words of encouragement. This is a time when our new students get to know Moya staff, and the old students are reminded of how many people at Moya truly care about their well-being. 

Once they leave with their backpacks full of stationary and uniforms, they are fully equipped and ready to start the new school year. And that is where we are now. The first term ends on April 17th, and shortly thereafter, Moya will receive the report cards directly from the schools that will tell us how each of our sponsored students is holding up. From there, we will work to quickly to identify and provide educational support to anyone who seems to be struggling. And at any time, even today, all of our students are welcome to come to us for encouragement, or any other form of psycho-social support. It takes a village to raise a child, and it take Moya Centre to help that child successfully make it through school.


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Everyone at Moya Centre is so humbled by the success of our first-ever crowdfunding campaign, which has earned us a permanent spot on GlobalGiving. We could never thank our donors enough for their support, but can only continue to live up to our promise of provding educational and psycho-social support for the neediest children of our catchment area in Lobamba Lomdzala, Eswatini. 

To provide a bit of background, the Holistic School Sponsorship program is not a new project for Moya Centre. We have been providing this package since 2009, with 608 students being supported for 4-year sponsorships since that time. We have a very low drop-out rate of 4%, and due to the difficult circumstances many of our kids face, we do give those who fail a second chance. Moya Centre decided to apply for the Accelerator Program through GloblGiving this year, as we were coming to a point with our funding where we would be forced to decrease our sponsorships going forward. This is in great part due to the ever-increasing cost of living in Eswatini, coupled with stagnant (but appreciated!) funding that has remained the same for many years. We find the program so successful, and would like to continue to sponsor as many orphaned and vulnerable students as possisble moving forward. Launching this campaign has definitely helped us to maintain this program. 

We currently have 133 sponsored students in our program. Without our GlobalGiving donors, we would have been forced to not replace those who gradute in 2019, with new students in 2020. Yet, because of this fundraiser, we will be able to replace at least some of those students. With the funding received so far, we will be able to fill a minimum of 11 spots with deserving high-school students. 

In terms of the Holistic Sponsorship program for 2019, we recently hosted our end-of year workshops with sponsored students, which is motivational in nature. Since it takes place the week before exams begin, we give tips on studying, and how to best approach exams. We also have a session on gardening for nutritional sustainability, and community service over the long holiday break. For our Form 5 graduates, we take it a step further by providing a "Life After High School" workshop. We capacitate the students on writng CV's, attending job interviews, applying for tertiary scholarships, as well as giving tips on how to cope with such a big transition of leaving school. We also educate the students on programs we run for our alumni, which we are working hard to grow even more in the future.

 Although we are unable to provide much of an update for the project funded on GlobalGiving, as it begins in January 2020, we have informed our parter highs schools of where we currently stand, and the process that will take place at the start of next year. Please note that the school year runs from end of January to start of December in Eswatini. We have updated the project to a new goal of 20+ sponsorhips, doubling our original financial goal. It would be ideal to be able to fill 35 spots, which matches the number of outgoing graduates, and we will continue working towards this to maintain the same scope of the program in 2020. 

Once again, Thank you to all of our donors and supporters for beleiving in Moya Centre, and the work we are doing. For the holiday season, we have added a second project of urgent need: Dignity Packs for the neediest students in all 8 of our partner primary and high schools. Dignity packs provide the kids with the necessary items to maintain proper hygiene, and therefore lifting their self-esteem and confidence. As we are new to the platform, and crowdfunding in general, and we are coming up on the Giving Season, we humbly ask for your assistance in helping us broaden our network by introducing others to Moya Centre, what we are doing, and what we are looking to achieve through the support of our global community.  

Siyabonga Kakhulu! (Thank you so much!) 


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Organization Information

Moya Trust (also known as Moya Centre)

Location: Mahlanya - Eswatini
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @moyaeswatini
Project Leader:
Katelyn Panzarella
Mahlanya, Manzini Eswatini
$12,445 raised of $20,000 goal
110 donations
$7,555 to go
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