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
Marula left to dry for cracking
Marula left to dry for cracking

Each year, marula fruit is collected and used to brew a local beer called buganu.  The pits are discarded into ever-growing piles, to slowly rot back into the soil.

Inside the pits are kernels high in a good quality oil.  While historically, the kernels would have been used in preparing food, the availability of cheap vegetable oils has relegated the use of the kernels to the aging generation that remembers growing up with them years ago.  So instead, most kernels are discarded and end up unused and left to rot.

However, the oil from these kernels is in high demand for use in cosmetics and creams.  So Kudvumisa buys the kernels from (mostly) women in the communities we serve, providing an income form a resource which holds little value in the rural communities we serve.  The kernels are pressed for oil which is then sold on to people who manufacture the creams and lotions.

Impact of this economic development project?  Zwakele cracks the pits at her homestead and carries the kernels to the Kudvumsia office in Maphiveni.  The money she earns allows her to purchase food for her family!

Zwakele bringing her marula kernels to be weighed
Zwakele bringing her marula kernels to be weighed

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Simpihwe lives in Maphiveni with her gogo (grandmother).  This is a very impoverished area: there are no jobs and the plots are too small and the spoil too poor to farm.  Every few week Simphiwe arrives at the Kudvumisa offices with a small pail of cracked marula kernels. She cracks these from marula nuts discarded each year after the marula buganu (beer) season. 

Thokozani with Kudvumisa, inspects and weighs the kernels.  He pays Simphiwe for the kernels she has brought.

With the money she makes, she is able to purchase the uniform, shoes and supplies for school and also help with food for her gogo and siblings.

Thokozani will press the kernels for oil and then package it for resale to people who make cosmetics. 

This is one of the ways that Kudvumisa Foundation is working to combat poverty in this community!  Your support helps make this possible.

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Crawfish in the holding tank
Crawfish in the holding tank

Our economic development model has been to find local resources in a community that have little or no value and connecting them to markets where they have value. Buying the commodities locally puts money back into the local economy, spurring additional development.

Coming from Louisiana, imagine our delight and surprise in finding freshwater crawfish in the waterways in the areas we work in Swaziland. Introduced almost two decades ago from Australia, they are an invasive species that has taken frim rooting in this area. Only recently introduced means that the typical Swazi will have nothing to do with them and in fact are scared due to superstitions about being “bit” by one. They in effect have zero value where they are found. Perfect for our model.

Jabulani was making a small salary doing work in the one of the communities outside Maphiveni. He has a wife and several children to provide for; rent, food, school, health care, clothing, etc., etc.

Using traps supplied by Kudvumisa, he was able to quickly earn more money from catching and selling crawfish to Kudvumisa than he made from his salary. A tremendous win for him, his family, and the local shops he could then purchase much needed groceries!

Kudvumisa makes the connection to a market in the capital selling the crawfish to individuals and restaurants.

A perfect fit! Connecting a local resource with no value to a market where it has value (besides removing an invasive species).

Jabulani has continued to trap the crawfish while encouraging others that he knows to also trap them so they can earn extra as well.

Jabulani and his wife
Jabulani and his wife
Throwing traps in the Mbuluzi River
Throwing traps in the Mbuluzi River

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Moringa and marula oil pressed from seeds
Moringa and marula oil pressed from seeds

Many of the people Kudvumisa Foundation serve in its outreaches have little opportunity to work. There is little economic activity in these isolated rural areas. Thokozane, a member of Kudvumisqa Foundation’s staff, works to bring the message of economic opportunity into these impoverished communities.

He relates several stories from working in the communities:

-          Doreen lives in Maphiveni. She has harvested some moringa seed and brought them to Kudvumisa Foundation’s office. She is so motivated by the money she receives for the seeds she keeps bringing more. The money helps her to buy basic needs for her house.

-          Duduzile lives in Ngazini. She has been cracking marula nuts and bringing the kernels to Kudvumisa. She was very happy with the money she received. She is now a spokeswoman to her community trying to motivate more people to bring their marula kernels from Ngazini.

-          Young boys from Maphiveni are brining crawfish they catch. They are very happy to get a significant amount of pocket money from the crawfish. They promise to bring even more.

Moringa, marula and crawfish: by themselves, they have no value in the local communities here. Kudvumisa makes connections to outside markets where there is value. The people in the communities benefit from a good price for resources they otherwise would ignore or throw away.

Bringing hope where there is none.

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Thokozane with the oil press
Thokozane with the oil press

"Identifying resources that have little or no value locally and making connections to markets where they do have value"

This has been our model since beginning to work in economic development in impoverished rural eastern Swaziland. So marula nuts which are normally discarded and moringa seeds which are ignored on the trees have little or no value in the rural communities we work in. A local Swazi gentleman, Thokozane, was hired recently to begin working full time in the communities spreading information on gathering the seeds from older women (gogo’s) so they can begin to have some income from their efforts. They have to crack the marula shells to get to the marula kernels. This is traditionally done using a large rock on the ground and one in the hand to crack the hard shell.

Thokozane collects the marula kernels in the community and then stores them in the new Kudvumisa offices in Maphiveni. Once he has a reasonable quantity, he runs the kernels through the press to generate marula oil. The oil is collected and left to sit so it settles. The last step is to run it through a filter and then deliver to a lady who makes soaps and creams in Swaziland. She sells the creams to generate money to send local children to school who can’t afford the fees.

Gogo cracking marula nuts in the traditional way
Gogo cracking marula nuts in the traditional way

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Organization Information

Kudvumisa Foundation USA Inc

Location: Glenmoore, PA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @Kudvumisa
Project Leader:
Daran Rehmeyer
Glenmoore, PA United States
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