I’ve been home now for 2 days and already the trip is starting to feel like a dream. The most wonderful dream - complete with a dream team of volunteers, though! We were able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time:
- Sanitation Across Swaziland:
o We sanitized over 3,000 used hotel soaps to distribute to our orphans living in rural communities. These soaps are a life saving measure to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
o We delivered 100 reusable sanitary pad kids to rural school girls who do not want to miss during their periods. These kits sewn by WestWind Church and friends in Springfield, IL (and my cousin Amy!!) include absorbable liners, washcloth, soap, and a beautiful bag to store them in.
- Orphan Education:
o Education is the key tool to escape poverty and we added 13 children to our already sponsored 45 kids!
o We were able to purchase all of our elementary and high school kids their uniforms and school shoes so they are prepared for the 2017 new school year.
o We delivered two large bags full of medical supplies to Baylor’s pediatric HIV Center. It is important to have vaginal speculums for the antenatal care – we delivered a huge box of one-time use speculums (important for rural clinics that do not have proper sanitation abilities to prevent the spread of HIV). We also delivered medical gloves, gauze, arm slings, N95 masks (to prevent the spread of Tuberculosis) and large bottles of hand sanitizer – Thanks Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, Springfield IL
o We delivered craft supplies and toothbrushes and toothpaste to The Rocking Horse pediatric palliative care facility that provides long term or hospice care for terminally ill children.
- School Support:
o We recognize that sponsoring children is not enough, we need to also support the schools they attend. We donated 9 laptops for Malindza High School and purchased $500 worth of electrical units so the computer lab will have sufficient energy.
- Nutrition Support:
o We donated a wheel barrow for fetching water and distributed 30 emergency meal packages to extremely destitute child-headed homes complete with mealies, rice, beans, cooking oil, peanut butter, soup mix, candles, matches, and peanuts.
o We also delivered an entire truck full of food to our Malindza New Hope Centre that feeds over 100 children per day in a particularly destitute community that lacks sufficient rain fall to allow them to grow their own food.
- Psychosocial support:
o It’s not all work no play… we also played games with the kids in their homes, shot off fireworks for New Years Eve, took 25 to see a movie in 3D and had a huge pizza party! These kids need to work hard and study, but they also need to know they are loved and need to have some fun!
Would you like to join us on an upcoming trip to Swaziland or know someone who might? Contact annie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to donate something but don’t know what? Check out our Amazon WishList! We are constantly adding new things that are needed in Swaziland: http://a.co/hXmgZjV
Consider one of our artisan direct items made by rural Swazi women with proceeds benefiting our programming: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1402331719818260.1073741846.179296595455118&type=1&l=465bfda973
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Thanks for sharing our journey! www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html