Renovation of the Guest House: to employ 6
Only a couple of years ago if you asked for directions to Maphiveni here was the typical answer: After passing Simunye Country Club drive about 10km toward Lomahasha. After crossing a bridge you will see on your right a rundown and neglected place with old and decaying buildings and overgrown grass. You definitely won’t miss the place.
The Kudvumisa Foundation’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate health care and to empower the disenfranchised to escape the grip of crushing poverty in the impoverished, marginalized, and isolated communities of Eswatini. And if you visit the Lubombo region today you will see that this is exactly what Team Kudvumisa is doing!
The organization could have chosen to build its offices in one of the major centers like Siteki and launch their outreach programs from there, but they didn’t. Instead they chose the backwaters of civilization and placed their offices right in the middle of poverty.
When the organization moved to Maphiveni a few years back, there was nothing to talk about the place. The area was dominated by a couple deserted ramshackle buildings whose state was a mirror of the poverty, hopelessness and desperation in the area.
But go there today and you will see the difference. The place is alive, the grave yard is now teeming with life so to speak! There is now a constant stream of people walking in and out of the Kudvumisa clinic. Those that offer ancillary services like airtime vendors, fruit and vegetable sellers have seen it and are seen each morning preparing their stalls. Across the road the restaurateur makes a killing each lunch hour catering for Kudvumisa staff and visitors to the clinic and Maphiveni area. Clearly there is something happening in the area.
Apart from offering health care services Kudvumisa’s mission also covers the economic development aspect. If you look at it closely you will realize that it is holistic approach that the organization has adopted in its quest to effectively drag a community out of the cruel abyss of poverty. The grand plan which is already in full swing will see Kudvumisa commission a state-of-the-art clinic, build a shopping complex, gas station, a lodge and a marula oil & craw fish processing facility. All these projects are earmarked for completion before the advent of 2019 and are set to change the face of Maphiveni forever.
Talking of the clinic, the building is already complete and the equipment is already on site. What is left is for the staff to go through the hundreds of boxes containing hospital consumables and other equipment in order to determine what is missing before the clinic opens its doors to the public. “We are in process of unpacking, sorting and stocking the clinic,” said Daran. “The dental clinic is basically finished as well, and we are still trying to get the costs and raise funds for the dental chairs. Regarding the equipment we have already received some donations and we are now busy trying to quantify what else we need to make that operational.”
Coming to the shopping complex, scores of workers are on site pulling down old and rusty metal sheets and beams to clear the way for the building project that is scheduled to start in a month’s time pending the bank’s release of funds. The facility will house a popular grocery store chain, a hardware store and a gas station.
The idea behind developing the shopping complex is to generate funds for the clinic through leases so that the health facility is self-sustained and doesn’t continue to depend on donor funding. “If we are not sustainable then this whole thing (clinic) falls apart. We can’t rely on donations forever like we are doing right now!” emphasized Daran. “Then the leasing from the commercial property will make this clinic sustainable”
Apart from the shopping centre, Kudvumisa and its partners are also constructing a beautiful guest house just a stone throw away from the shopping complex. With the contractor currently on site it’s hoped that the plastering and painting of the first floor will be complete in a fortnight. The facility will cater for visitors and tourists in the area. Also, the lodge will house teams of volunteers that come annually to assist the organization. Instead of them dumping their precious cash at city hotels, the revenue is channeled back into the clinic to pay for wages, procure drugs etc.
In addition to the lodge and complex, is the marula and craw fish processing facility. This will be housed adjacent to the clinic, of course very much independent and isolated from the patients so that there is absolutely no risk of either activities adversely affecting the other. The marula and crawfish will be processed on site instead of being transported raw to a major town. The idea being to create employment and develop the area so that the locals can at the end of the day escape from the shackles of poverty and lack.
Talking about employment Daran expects the clinic to employ about twenty-two people when it’s fully functional, and the guest house five. The commercial property on the other hand is expected to create more than one hundred jobs for the people of Maphiveni.
After ten years of restoring health and hope in Lubombo, now is the time to empower the people so that they can feed themselves. Kudvumisa’s economic development project will surely emancipate the residents of Maphiveni and surrounding areas from the chains of lack and suffering. With Kudvumisa on their side their sorrows are being turned into joy!
Local constrution workers employed
Old buildings come down for new development