Thank you to all donors who are helping u to overcome poverty in Eswatini, we cannot express our gratitude enough to you all, bless you. Covid 19 has made our work even harder, as it has for billions around the globe. Sales which are the live blood for artisans out in the field are non-existent due to the lack of tourists visiting our country. Tens of thousands of people are now laid off from work. On the positive side we have only 345 active cases and, bless them, 113 deaths. So we are also sending our gratitude to our government, the medical mission and doctors form Taiwan who have bene here on the ground saving lives and to all the people of Eswatini for wearing masks, social distancing and taking this pandemic seriously to save lives. With one of the world’s most vulnerable populations due to tuberculosis and HIV the priority has keeping people healthy but poverty is just as deadly. Now we are working on projects to kick start our small enterprises and find innovative ways to find sales. We will keep
SWIFT sends our sincere gratitude to all of our donors, we are so very grateful. During this crisis the need is even great we are sorry to say. The majority of our 3125 members earn at least 60% of their income from the tourists that visit our beautiful country, now we have none. As the handmade sector is not an essential business, all have had to close as of March.
With one of the world’s most vulnerable populations due to tuberculosis and HIV, we are in serious need. Our government, rightly, shut down the country in March to protect lives, with only two ventilators in the whole country, you can imagine how limited our health care is. So the priority is keeping people healthy but poverty is just as deadly.
With over 2000 of our members living in rural areas many without access to clean water, the loss of income is causing significant need.
At SWIFT we are also not allowed to train so we haven’t received any funding from our training partners.
So, I'm sorry this isn't a more positive report. I hope you stay safe, healthy and well
SWIFT sends our sincere gratitude to all of our donors, we are beyond grateful as we are aware of the massive need in the world and we are blessed to you have choose us to support.
We make your donations go a long way in our network of 2700 people. This year alone we have trained 100 young people, trained, capacitated and mentored 163 rural female artisans, held two buyer tours, built a stand at Bushfire and a Christmas market for members to promote and sell their beautiful products.
We have helped a local NGO turn their preschools into social businesses, trained 26 young female mentors who deliver vital social and entrepreneurial skills to the young women at the Girl’s Clubs and that is on top of the mentoring and market access for our members. We have done all of this with limited funds as we do not have a main donor this year to support, this is why we are saying to you THANK YOU and BLESS YOU!
Here are the links to our social media, hopefully you will connect with us there if you are unable to donate directly but we hope that you can
SWIFT believes the most important part of any programme and development programme is market linkages. So far this year we have two international buyers to our country and created two other local market access opportunities including the Bushfire festival.
We have also started to widen our membership to include youth members. Our first training was with the local mobile telephone company MTN and we trained 100 youth to build entrepreneurial skills. During the month long training we took them on aspirational tours to do market research, in class training and group work where they had to build a virtual company together.
Then they had to present to the Lion’s Cage judges and the winning group earned E 5000.00.
To date we have helped them earn incomes of almost 50,000 ZAR but what we are most proud of is the way our youth partners became a family. 22 of our 100 youth live with a disability and the way the abled bodied young people assimilated them into all areas of the training was outstanding. We all learned some basic sign language as well!
This training wasn’t just about business skills, it was also about life skills, self-development and community building.
Here are the links to our social media, hopefully you will connect with us there if you are unable to donate directly.
Our work to overcome poverty and therefore set society on a path to wellness continues. The Bushfire Festival happens each May which is one of the most effective market access programmes that SWIFT runs. This year we handed over the running of the stand to our members, this creates more ownership and is an excellent practical training to learn vital skills. The members built the stand, stocked it, created the displays and conducted the selling. SWIFT supported them all the way with team members on hand to assist and support. Collectively the members earned over ZAR 54,000 during get three days of the festival and we are so proud of them. Also in May we had a buyer tour from SERRV USA, buyer Patty Heilman was with us for ten days meeting members and touring the workshops. Buyers love consolidated orders allowing them to buy from multiple suppliers through one channel. Patty was astonished by the level of quality, design and diversity of the products in Eswatini. We shall keep you updated on the orders when we get them. Our external evaluation was completed this year and our best and most important outcome, a 1086% sales increase for our micro enterprises over the past four years.
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