Social Volunteer Projects
The Swazi people are very welcoming, and being a volunteer in Eswatini with local communities is an extremely rewarding experience. There are a few companies running social volunteer projects in Eswatini. All Out Africa offer social welfare projects (mostly in the Ezulwini area) including teaching, orphan care and home building. All Out believes that the cycle of poverty can be stopped by providing early childhood education to vulnerable and orphaned children living in impoverished areas. In these areas and for this demographic there is an extremely high drop out rate, even in primary school. This is because kids start school not knowing their ABC’s, 123’s and barely speaking English, if any. By the end of grade 1 they are behind and this carries through. All Out’s childcare project works in collaboration with the community. They identify these vulnerable areas and ask a chief to partner. The chief allocates a piece of land on which All Out constructs a new NCP (through their building volunteer projects). A local person from the community is then trained as a teacher. Their sports volunteer projects then incorporate games and activities that promote motor skill development such as the ability to button a button, jump on one foot and catch a ball.
Certain areas of Eswatini are more impoverished than others and volunteer projects in rural villages has helped them develop. Bulembu, a rebuilt ghost town which was once home to a thriving mining community has been rebuild by Bulembu Ministries. The innovative Christian project has created a care centre for orphans and disadvantaged children. Housing, education and round-the-clock care are provided, and small-scale enterprises (eg: bee-keeping, dairy farming) are developed to boost self-reliance in the local community. Volunteer projects are run by the organisation and you can find out more about Bulembu Ministries by going to: www.bulembu.org. If you are interested in being a volunteer with Bulembu Ministries, then UK company Challenge Ministries Swaziland (CMS) can put together a volunteer programme that suits you. Find out more on their website: www.cmswazi.org
Local company Swazi Volunteers also runs volunteer projects with local communities in Eswatini. Recommended for backpackers that wish to contribute to the local community, participants can teach in schools and assist in hospitals. Find out more on their website: www.swazivolunteers.com