Ekwetsembeni Special School
Ekwetsembeni Special School is a school located at Mbabane in the Hhohho region, it is for children with intellectual disabilities. It was established by two American Peace Corps Volunteers in 1974, through an initiative from the society for the handicapped It started operating at Thokoza Centre and later moved into the present premises. It was rehabilitated in the 1990 by the African Development Bank after discovering that the school was dangerous for human habitation. It was then formerly handed over by the society for the handicapped to Swaziland Government who has up to now been responsible for the schools up keep.
These school fills important gaps in Swaziland`s school system more especially because they are not trained in grades but rather in groups of similar disabilities. In a later stage the children are then graded based on their response performance on skills trained to say a particular child deserve to be mainly trained on a specific skill. The children are trained on life skills which include sewing, salon, art, agriculture and academia. Teachers of Ekwetsembeni are professionally qualified teachers and full of passion.
Compassionate Swaziland is currently implementing a 1 year project with Ekwetsembeni special school in partnership with Global Fund for Children (GFC). The project started May 2017 and will run until May 2018.
The project objectives are:
- To enhance life skills
- Targeting girls with disabilities but not living out the boys
- Teach girls on Sexual Reproductive Health Education
- Provision of dignity packs(Sanitary towels, Vaseline and soap)
- Conduct trainings for parents and teachers on regards to disability
Above is a demonstration of some of the tools used in the salon department together with the focal teacher for the salon skills training “Mrs Mamba” Mrs Mamba is a degree holder and a qualified teacher by profession, She is also skilled in beauty therapy but above all she has a passion. During an interview with her she said that her passion to work with children was mainly driven by the disability background from her family that is why today she is at Ekwetsembeni Special School. Next to her picture above, is a chart which she uses to demonstrate some of the equipment used during hair dressing. She said that the children are then examined based on what they have learned.
Innovation from the Teacher
Above is an art the salon teacher (Mrs Mamba) came up with, She uses it to teach the children how to plait hair and tested on a later stage if they can braid someone hair. This innovation was driven out by the less resources to buy the correct models required for the training. Mrs Mamba said from here they would then design weave hat which the teacher said they sell then buy more working materials again. She also mentioned that on past event she would visit the salons in town and ask for the remains from their customers who came to do their hair and wash it to re-use again during the training of the children. Recently Compassionate Swaziland has provided Ekwetsembeni with the proper models (Dummies) to assist during the braiding trainings by Mrs Mamba.
Manicure equipment’s and braiding items
This are the some of the items Compassionate Swaziland bought for the children to practise what they do best. We have a manicure kit above which they will be using while being trained on how to do nails. They include but not limited to; lotion warmer machines, full nails, tips, nail cutter, nail filer, nail jelly, Cutex, etc. From the items Compassionate Swaziland with Global Fund for Children support of course also bought for the School braiding items like; weaves, extensions in different brands as per Mrs Mamba `s advise The Children of Ekwetsembeni Special School are talented, they need support and it doesn’t take one but the World to help nature this talent. We have done it you can do it too.
Sewing Machines for Ekwetsembeni
The joyful woman putting in place the machines above is Mrs Sukati. She is the home economics teacher of Ekwetsembeni special school, she is pictured embracing the sewing machines which she says she is so very grateful to have and emphasised how the machines were going to ease work when she teach the student. She also mentioned that previously they were using the old manual machines which were not enough to accommodate all the children to use and was very slow to the extent that the children would have to wait for the other to finish before they can get a chance to utilise the machine. Today since Compassionate Swaziland has bought 2 electronical singer machines and 1 over locker. Mrs Sukati continued to say that the new machines are fast as a result the children will be able to take turns quicker during their trainings and will sure speed up the whole process of the training.
The pupils gathered for pictures with Compassionate Director
(Make Siphiwe Mabuyakhulu)
Boys and girls group photo Girls gathered for a group Photo
All smiles for the Camera After School time at Ekwetsembeni