Chief's vote of thanks
Graduation Day - November 14, 2011 - Several very special visitors joined the community on the gradation day (which was organized completely by the community). These included:
- Keri Dziuban - together with Sakhile and Thembinkosi, who helped with the car wash in Mbabane - http://project23-3.blogspot.com
- Rotary Club of Mbabane Swaziland - who have previously supported community projects through Vusumnotfo
Enjoy the photos - they say it best!
So what is next? - now that only finishing work on the construction of the preschool remains in phase 1, we take a bit of a pause for community members to plough and plant, to respect the Encwala ceremony (a key traditional ceremony in Swaziland) and to give space for all the up and down that marks the start of the new school year (January 24) - thereafter we will pick up on the tasks for phase 2, as indicated:
- Toilet - we left 15 bags of cement with the community for making of blocks that will be used in the construction of a pit latrine. Due to the type of soil, the pit will need to be lined with off set blocks.
- Playground - the original foundation dug by the community has been used as the trench to hold the tyres. To explain, some years back, after the Umphakatsi had allocated the land for the preschool, the community dug a foundation. Although this was before we had a building plan, or even a funding lead, it is a common practice that I suspect has two objectives - 1) a visual representation of community hopes and dreams, and 2) perhaps a way of putting a bit of pressure on Vusumnotfo to put Cetjwayo “next in line”. So, we decided to use this trench for the tyres - for jumping on, climbing underneath, sitting on… and all the many things young children will think of. We also need to purchase the supplies for swings and other play equipment, which will be constructed on site.
- Rainwater catchment tank - we constructed the roof as indicated so as to capture the maximum rain in the most effective manner, so we will be purchasing a tank and guttering, and constructing a tank stand.
- Fencing and landscaping - in this regard, we will draw upon our experiences with Vusumnotfo’s permaculture training, opting for a minimum barrier fence that will provide protection to a live fence of indigenous plants while it is being established.
With many thanks for your donations - which makes possible all the positive results in this report - Vusumnotfo was formed by the traditional leaders as a strategy to be more proactive about their developmental aspirations. Given this, ownership is vested at community level (I report to a local Board), which means that since inception, Vusumnotfo has received no core funding, rather we fundraise for all costs, including salaries (mine included), transport, and administration. Given this, receiving an E mail from Global Giving that someone has donated to Vusumnotfo’s project posting is just a great way to start a day - so many thanks to you all for that!
In closing, I would like to share with you this BBC / PRI radio interview with Chief Mnikwa, who selected the name "Vusumnotfo" which means to "restart the economy". http://www.theworld.org/2011/11/swaziland-chief-world-war-two
To have peace, we need sustainable development - to have sustainable development, we all need to realize how inter connected the world is - Ubuntu (I am because you are).
Community men at graduation
Cooking at graduation
Back view - showing roof for rain water tank
Reciting rhymes at graduation
Sakhile & Thembinkosi
Traditional leaders at graduation
Tree planting at graduation
Tyres for playground
Community women at graduation