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
All smiles for the Camera
After School time at Ekwetsembeni
The pupils showing off hands with the writing ; END VIOLENCECommunications officer (Senelisiwe Shabangu, supported by HIV Prevention Officer (Mr Mlondi Mkhatshwa) and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (Nontsikelelo Simelane) were representing the organisation in the information desk. They then during the stall visit by the DPM and his delegation presented a t-shirt and broacher to him. Ms Shabangu presents the t-shirt to DPM (Paul Dlamini) while officers look on, a firm hand shake from HIV prevention officer to the DPM followed. The same with the Regional Administrator ,as an organisation serving also in the Shiselweni region Mtsambama Inkhundla we had to appreciate him too. Mr Mkhatshwa handed over the t-shirts while Ms Nontsikelelo and Senelisiwe looks on. Visitors on Compassionate stalls The members of the community did not miss the event, they came to celebrate the day with their sons and daughters. Veli Pleading Teachers we want to be totally safe in your hands, even when we fail do not call us names but rather empower us with life skills.We are tired of the killing and the slaughtering of children in the hands of those we trust.Please don`t call us names and say things like”awusiniki lesingaboni” because it`s discrimination to us. Parent do not be ashamed of disable children since we are all gift from God and please please stop killing albinos they will not make you rich. Please leave us alone. Below is Veli pleading during the day of the African child at Eqinisweni Primary School. Stop Violence against children Lets all take a stand for our Children We are the youth moving forward!!!!
Region: Mtsambama Inkhundla
Mr Hlatshwako was very happy to finally meet Compassionate Swaziland Management and Inkhundla council of Mtsambama, whom he says if it was not for them they could not been here today, they could not have what they have today. He said in his own words “I am proud to say almost half of the school asset are from Compassionate and I dearly appreciate the support”. He continued to thank the organisation for it Volunteers (home visitors) whom dedicate their lives and time on following up on the girl children sponsored in the school(Mpompotha High)just making sure they have everything they need and visit them often to make sure they are taken care of.
Hlatshwako says that the asset has helped ease work on the shoulders of teachers, the computers, textbooks, multisocket and many other help the English department during exams. He says now every department work much easier. Microphones empty CDs and multi socket played a very vital role during oral examinations.
Name: Mr Msibi Place: Ngwempisi Inkhundla Indvuna Mr Msibi after the good work Compassionate Swaziland has done at Ngwempisi Inkhundla, Ngcoseni high school to be specific where the organisation sponsors 20 girl child, fees and purchase of telephone lines, PA system, Photocopier machine, Computers, etc. He first thanked Compassionate for the hard work in the whole Inkhundla at large. Msibi then asked Ngcoseni principal Mr Dlamini to monitor the bought commodities, proper kept so that it last longer and future generation to see and use as well. He further sent his great appreciations on behalf of the parents especially on the fees paid for needy children. Lastly the Indvuna (Mr Msibi) congratulated the organisation for the job and trusted that they will continue helping the constituency.
Name: Mr Dlamini
Place: Ngcoseni high School Principal
Mr Dlamini was left shocked by Compassionates kindness towards them and was short of words but these is a few he had to say pertaining the commodities. The was a lot to say but to specify a few, Dlamini mentioned the P.A system which he valued as the most important commodity and said that it came as a life saver since they have over a thousand students and you will find that during assembly and meetings not everyone get to hear what is being addressed at a far distance. He said it is also used during parents meetings. The computers were said to be useful for the English department especially during times of examinations. They use it to facilitate oral part of the exam. Lastly he took the opportunity to thank the Home visitors (CSD`S volunteers) whom are often seen visiting and talking to the students and checking on them at home. He did not forget to congradulate the Director Siphiwe Mabuyakhulu whom he saw on the times of Swaziland that she had hosted the country`s flag high and won a Katherine award while studying in Canada.
Name: Mr Maziya
Place: Mpolonjeni Inkhundla Indvuna
Mr Maziya`s words “we are very proud to have compassionate in our Inkhundla, because where they touch it does not remain the same. Compassionate Swaziland got us in a very bad situation of drought and a situation where parents could not do most of the things for themselves and Compassionate came as an answer”. He further stated that even today he is happy to say Mpolonjeni is in a better state because CSD part taked too. Maziya continued with words of motivation to people whom Compassionate come to offer their services to, that they should prepare themselves and be ready to work together hand in hand. He thinks and sure that they will succeed in whatever they will be doing.
Maziya now directed to the principal of Lasi high school that he should try by all mean to take care of the commodities bought, both in the science labs and home economics department and of course follow up on the girls sponsored by Compassionate Swaziland.
Name: Mr Hlophe
Place: Principal Lasi High School
Mr Hlophe says he is grateful to Compassionate Swaziland and the donors who have helped them as Lasi high. He says that equipment purchased for them has made a huge difference in the school, he says that some of the commodities are already being used by the students. It is from the depth of his heart that that Compassionate can continue to help them as a school even in the future. He stated that the Lubombo region is known for the challenges especially in respect to resources, even parents struggle to cater their children needs even to provide food on the table so CSD has really done very well in helping on those cases. Lastly Hlophe asked the good lord to bless Compassionate Swaziland as a whole and specifically directed to the Officers that God shall bless and multiply the works of their hands
October 1, 2016 - Antigonish, Nova Scotia – Coady International Institute
For the first time in its 17-year history, the Katherine Fleming International Development Award was be presented to a Coady participant from Swaziland.
Dr. June Webber, Coady director and StFX vice-president, has announced that Mabuyakhulu Abingo Siphiwe Phumla receive the award during StFX's homecoming weekend (9:30am, Saturday, Oct. 1 in Dennis Hall). The award and endowment fund were established by the family, friends and classmates of Katie Fleming, StFX alumna ’85, who dedicated her life to fighting poverty in Africa. It is awarded each year to a woman from Africa taking part in the Diploma in Development Leadership.
Ms. Mabuyakhulu is founder and director of Compassionate Swaziland, a charity that works with schools and community groups to provide comprehensive care and support to HIV/AIDS-affected children and young people. This includes providing sexual and reproductive health rights education and preventing gender-based violence, which is a regular cause of new HIV infections and a barrier to finding support.
“Siphiwe is an inspired Swaziland leader with a vision for equity, inclusion and voice for the women and girls of her sub-Saharan country. Siphiwe acknowledges the importance of her role as a woman leader to build tomorrow’s leadership who will have the confidence and skill to create strong, resilient communities.” – Dr. June Webber, Coady Institute director and StFX vice-president
“It is an honour for me to accept this award, especially on behalf of the women and children I work with.
I feel that the work I have been doing with them has given me the opportunity to speak to the world about the social and economic challenges they face every day.” – Siphiwe Mabuyakhulu
- Ms. Mabuyakhulu is one of 41 participants from 18 countries attending the 2016 Diploma in Development Leadership program in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
- Previous award recipients have come from Zambia (4), Kenya (3), Nigeria (2), Tanzania (2), Ghana (2), Zimbabwe (1), Botswana (1), and South Africa (1).
- Compassionate Swaziland won a 2015 Global Rising Stars award for its work improving the lives of vulnerable children in two regions of the country.
- Since 1959, StFX’s Coady Institute has delivered education programs to provide community builders with the knowledge and skills to create the change they want for themselves.