Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland

by Kudvumisa Foundation USA Inc
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Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
Jobs for 250 Impoverished Families in Swaziland
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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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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A CovenantLove Church member working on guesthouse
A CovenantLove Church member working on guesthouse

The life expectancy of an average Swazi was less than 35 years in 2007 according to a UNDP report dated March 2007. This figure was amongst the lowest if not the lowest in the world at that time. But today thanks to efforts by the government in partnership with non-governmental organizations like Kudvumisa the average life expectancy is now above 55 years. The question that quickly comes to mind for any average thinker is, “What’s next, now that the people are living longer?”

This is the question that Kudvumisa has been trying to answer since its inception in 2008. You should remember that well before HIV/AIDS became a global challenge, most of Sub-Saharan Africa has been suffering from chronic poverty due to a number of economic factors. And today despite the improved life expectancy most economies still remain in intensive care. What this means is that even though deaths from HIV/AIDS related illnesses have receded the people still need an income to keep them healthy. Kudvumisa, in order to help the people of Maphiveni and surrounding areas started a number of income generation projects that include the extraction of oil from marula and moringa seeds. The oil is then sold to upstream industries that manufacture cosmetics.

Apart from the oil, Kudvumisa also works with fishermen that catch crawfish from the many rivers and streams that meander across the region. The fresh fish is again collected by villagers and marketed by Kudvumisa thus providing a number of families with some income which is helping a lot of people to escape from the cruel bondage of poverty.

As part of community development, Kudvumisa is currently refurbishing the building adjacent to the clinic into a facility that will be used to process the marula oil, moringa oil and crawfish before delivery to the market. Regarding crawfish, the freshly caught fish will be boiled, packed, frozen and stored at the Maphiveni facility while awaiting shipment to local consumers and to South Africa. The crawfish for export will be cheaply packed for cost reasons as the buyers will do further packaging to suit their market. When fully operational the processing facility will employ about 6 people excluding those catching the fish and collecting the seeds.

In another separate project, Kudvumisa is in the process of renovating an old building into a guest house. The guest house is located just a hundred yards from the Kudvumisa offices. In addition, the organization is currently finalizing the paperwork for a commercial development project at Maphiveni which will house a well-known supermarket chain, other shops as well as a service station (gas station).

When complete all these projects are expected to employ hundreds of people and the income generated will be channeled back towards health delivery so that the clinic is self-sustaining and not continue burdening donors.

In a related development, Kudvumisa Foundation is now a member of Swaziland Fair Trade (SWIFT). The organization provides opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers apart from giving them training and advocacy support. By joining SWIFT Kudvumisa can now access a wider market for its products like moringa oil, marula oil, crawfish, glass and seen products.

If you would like to know more about Kudvumisa's activities please feel free to visit our facebook page or website using the links provided.

A woman harvesting moringa seeds
A woman harvesting moringa seeds

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Renovation of the Guest House: to employ 6
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
Local constrution workers employed
Old buildings come down for new development
Old buildings come down for new development

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Gogo Mabuza collecting moringa seeds
Gogo Mabuza collecting moringa seeds

A number of older people like Gogo (Grandmother) Mabuza benefit tremendously from Kudvumisa Foundation’s economic development projects. One of the ways is to help people support their families by buying moringa seeds they harvest from the trees at their homestead. As the African lifestyle dictates, when you get old there is nothing much you can do to support your family, because you lack strength to work. So many older people end up relying on government grants that they receive every three months. These grants can barely sustain them for the next three months. They are very small and never enough. Gogo Mabuza, one of the elderly people from Maphiveni community who has moringa trees planted at her homestead, says that even though she does not have strength to do hard work for pay any longer she now finds selling moringa seeds to Kudvumisa as a secondary source income beyond the government grants. It helps her live a better life and be able to meet her family’s basic needs even when the government grant is finished. This small business sustains the provision for her to support herself, her granddaughter and grandson’s lives.

Moringa seeds are produced annually from moringa trees. In the eastern part of Eswatini, there are many moringa trees. People collect the moringa seeds when they mature and become dry and sell the seeds to Kudvumisa. Kudvumisa weighs the seeds and pays the people who bring them per kilogram. What they earn helps change their lives as they are benefiting from earning extra money. Kudvumisa presses the seeds in an oil press to produce the moringa oil. The moringa oil is sold to companies in town who use it to produce natural skin creams.

The people in Maphiveni testify that the income generation project helps meet their basic needs. Currently they are providing for their families. Kudvumisa needs additional support to keep this going on and to move to sustainability.

Gogo with moringa pods
Gogo with moringa pods
Moringa seeds
Moringa seeds
Gogo at her homestead
Gogo at her homestead
Gogo showing off her moringa seeds and pods
Gogo showing off her moringa seeds and pods

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Organization Information

Kudvumisa Foundation USA Inc

Location: Glenmoore, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Kudvumisa
Project Leader:
Daran Rehmeyer
Glenmoore, PA United States
$6,707 raised of $35,000 goal
 
53 donations
$28,293 to go
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