It’s been 2.5 years since I last posted…because Covid and political unrest have kept us away from the children we love for that long. Luckily our programs have continued in our absence due to the hard work of our colleagues on the ground. But maintaining positive open relationships with our kids is crucial to the success of Give Hope, Fight Poverty because in order to help alleviate struggles; we have to know which ones exist.
It has been interesting because when we finally returned, for some irrational reason, we expected the kids to be exactly as we left them in January 2020. Naturally they’re taller, older, and unfortunately some more downtrodden. 2020 and 2021 have seemed to do a number on many of us. However, for kids who had very, VERY little to begin with, the last two years have seemed to darken their hearts and hopes. And in turn, it’s certainly hurt mine to see.
One of our kids had dreams of being a musician/rapper, hoped to play music at church, and wanted to join the dance team at school. When I recently saw him, somehow those dreams have seemed to disappear. He is now ‘studying and hoping for good results on the school exams, but in swaziland, jobs and opportunities are limited.’ Today we surprised one of our female students who told me ‘it’s been so many years, I started to fear I would never see you again’. Yet she too wondered if there was a future for her and her child with the looming unemployment.
But, we’re back. And so far after the emotional hellos and updates, it’s been nothing but hugs, laughter and happy tears ever since! We learned that a family of girls wants a garden so they can sell produce and create a small income (garden cost $500), one of our Malindza high school students wants to repeat her English test so that she can get into college ($150), and two of our boys wanted bicycles to ride to school because bus fare has gotten too expensive but it’s too far of a distance to walk. (Already completed that wish ($500)!)
We learned about a double orphan whom we are supporting him in school but we wish to also build him his first home. He currently lives in a stick and mud hut that floods whenever it rains. He is a junior in high school with no parents or siblings. We need $3,500 but even $10 could help!!
Better blog tomorrow, I promise. It’s been a long day.
It’s 2am and we’re getting up soon. Goodnight from Swaziland!