We’ve established two thriving community gardens where community members can “rent” a plot of plowed, irrigated land for growing food for their families and to generate income. Families are encouraged to care for their plot and new families wait on a waiting list. The first year a family plants, they receive their first planting for free, additionally we offer training and support along the way. Families that take the opportunity seriously keep their access to the plot of land another year for free, otherwise the next family on the list gets to use the plot of land.
This program encourages families to sow deep and take their sustainability into their own hands.
We have nice plowed and irrigated gardens at some of our CarePoint community centers. These gardens are places where we use the garden to teach children and community members agricultural techniques, such as plant rotation, which crops are best for each season, and plants that sell for better rates. There is usually enough to sell, benefiting many in the community. We planted the first season and we ask the community to keep the gardens running year over year.
Our organization previously owned a for-profit farm and butchery shop near Malkerns where we provided fresh vegetables and raised livestock to sell at market. Due to the severe drought of 2016, we were forced to end our partnership and move the livestock to a safe location in Nsoko. Now, our herd of premium cattle has recovered and are thriving again.
Additionally, we now have a working farm and leadership development campus called Umdoni.
In early 2018, we set up a marketplace for the community to sell 100% Swati handcrafted goods and fresh produce. Situated near a major freeway far from town and most shops, the marketplace is an ideal location for the community to reach and attract customers. The marketplace is also commission-free and maintained at no charge for community members.
Every CarePoint we serve has access to high quality safe drinking water. With the help of our amazing partnering churches and communities, we’ve been able to provide multiple functioning boreholes that provide water for CarePoint and community use.
With the help of generous partners, we were able to help provide a CarePoint, a school, and a small community access to safe drinking water.
With the help of generous partners, we were able to install a large 65,000 liter water tank at our Umdoni leadership campus. This water tower will negate the need for installing multiple water pumps to supply water throughout the campus. Using gravity instead of water pumps were saving on maintenance and a lot of electricity.
According to usaid.gov, less than one out of four rural Swati homesteads have electricity. Over 58,000 households are estimated to be without power. By the time many children return home from school, it is already dark, leaving them unable to do their homework or study for exams that can determine their future.
In 2018, 15 homesteads received solar panels and lights.
Our Umdoni campus will feature several renewable energy projects. Umdoni has in its first years completed several energy and water use reduction projects which are used as teaching opportunities for our students.
A future goal is to have more homesteads and CarePoints partially or fully powered by sustainable solar energy. We need help to bring these valuable resources to Swazi homes and community use buildings.