Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Visit to Swaziland

Although the focus of my project is training teachers in the CCAP, I have stopped off in Swaziland to visit some friends before embarking on the work in Zambia. The work in Swaziland is part of the African Leadership Partners.  Allow me to explain some of the endeavors here.

New Life Homes
Seeing a need to support orphans here in Swaziland, our friends Peter and Mary Jean Kopp started New Life Homes over a decade ago.  The ministry consists of 4 homes each headed by a Swazi mom who raises 8 – 10 orphaned children at a time.  The children are placed at New Life Homes through the social service agency of the Swazi government.  Many of the older children have grown and are in college or receiving technical training.  The homes are located on a large farm in rural Swaziland where the children have many opportunities to learn about and experience self-sustainable farming.  The farm raises a wide variety of vegetables and other crops as well as livestock such as chickens, cattle, goats, and pigs.

New Life School
Children on the farm as well as from the community have an opportunity to attend the school located on the farm. My friend Tiersa has been here for two years working with the pre-school and kindergarten program.  I got to visit her class the last two days.  She has been training two Swazi teachers who are ready to step in and take over the program when she leaves to go back to the US in December.  The children were engaged in all types of active learning.

The primary school extends to grade 7.  The grade sevens are currently preparing for their end of year exams.  (Like many places in Africa and the southern hemisphere, the school year goes from January through November.)  I am impressed with the progress the children are making overall. 

Off to Zambia

Early tomorrow morning I will be heading to the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.  After 4 – 5 hour shuttle ride from Swaziland to the airport I will be on my way to Lusaka.  Lusaka and many parts of Zambia are experiencing severe power outages so internet and communication in general will be a challenge.  I will do my best however to maintain regular posts.

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