This morning we started with an official meeting with the Malindza chief. He greeted the community and begged us to continue supporting his needy community. We then held a clinic for the entire village. Just as we thought the line was getting smaller, we saw people coming up the mountain. Its always a miracle to me that the medicine we purchase and bandages/materials never run out until the final patient in line. Including yesterdays two clinics, we saw upwards of 400 patients – mostly children.
Afterward we delivered food to our 15 sponsored Malinda high school children. The challenge is that the children live in homes that have no road access so our partner Nomfundo organized the children to meet us under various trees with wheelbarrows. How the children knew which tree we were referring to, I will never know.
In May, a design team from IUPUI will be joining us in Swaziland to build a tire pyramid playground at our New Hope Children’s Centre. Today we ordered the tires from a mechanic and already 34 of the 100 we need were delivered.
Back at the guesthouse our volunteers sanitized 978 used hotel soaps to give to the schools to distribute to the orphans to prevent contagious disease. This is a program we’ve been doing for about a year now and school attendance has gone up in our two primary schools where we are piloting the project. We hope one day for the Ministry of Health to take this program over and make it nationwide. It’s a shame that soaps are thrown away when they could be used to save Children’s lives. More tomorrow…
Today we met all of our new children in elangeni. We sponsor 13 high school children there and 6 of them are new. We met Senzo, the school prefect (anti-corruption officer) whose job is to write names in a journal for students who are breaking school rules. I’m not sure id want that job!! Senzo wants to be a psychiatrist and likes to read people. We met Nomcebo a girl with a small stature in form 2 who lives with her 6 brothers and sisters and her grandmother and she loves geography. Bonginkhosi is in form 4 and he likes sciences particularly biology. I cant wait to spend more time with these eager children!!
We then played games with Philo and Mazwi. We gave them our cameras and sent them on a photo scavenger hunt. One of the questions was ‘take a selfie’. You should see Philo’s! Sassy pursed lips and all!! She then tells us she needs to go to the church to clean because when you do what you love for your church, you are doing it for God and she loves to clean. I wish I loved to clean!!!
We checked on sethus home one last time. Raymond and his team are doing amazing work!! Only need a roof, windows and plaster now… it will be completely finished by Wednesday. In May when we return we will build a home for Amanda, an hiv positive orphan living alone with her elderly grandmother.
Last but certainly not least, we delivered food to our ‘Dancing GoGo’ (grandmother). Myles asked why we call her the dancing gogo but he soon discovered as she danced her way to our car and then danced carrying food back to her home.
I never had the honor of meeting Carl Murphy, my grandfather in law, but I always hear how wonderful he was. He was passionate about helping others while he was alive and continued to do so after his death through his foundation. Just recently, the daughters gave his final grant and chose Give Hope, Fight Poverty as the recipient. We could not be more honored! When one of his daughters Teresa was in Swaziland, she helped build our dancing GoGo’s new home and a bond was formed. We have allocated Carl’s grant to assist our dancing gogo and the 4 orphaned children she tirelessly raises. Tonight we presented the GoGo’s family with a mural painted by the sisters in Carl’s memory. It is an adorable brightly colored ‘under the sea’ painting designed by artist Sarah Dufner of ‘Paint Out Social’ with ‘CARL’ spelled out in an octopuses tentacles. I hope Carl and Mickey were watching as the happiness spread across the Children’s faces and the grandmothers dancing legs… a beautiful way to end a powerfully productive yet emotionally and physically stressful trip.When I get home to America, I will post a recap blog with photos. Until then, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/givehopefightpoverty or on our website: www.ifightpoverty.org You can donate by mailing a check to 2436 N Alabama St Indianapolis IN 46205 or online at www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html or by emailing me (Annie) the amount you wish to donate and I will send you a PayPal invoice. None of our work is possible without you! Siyabonga kakhulu….