There are so many stories we would like to share with you as our time in Swaziland comes to an end, but for now let me tell you about Sipho’s family and the children at Good Shepherd Hospital.
Sipho’s Vegie Garden
We got to know Sipho’s family through one of the Home Based Care team Christmas parties we ran. Sipho lives with his wife and 3 children in extremely poor conditions. Despite being ill, he is very hardworking. Recently Sipho attempted to build himself a new home as his current one is leaking, but unfortunately it needed some work. Possible Dreams International stepped in and is currently funding a new home for his family using local builders.
After some consultation with Sipho, we decided that Operation Hope would fund a vegetable garden allowing him to earn some income as well as produce food for his family. Sipho will build the fencing and plough the field and we will simply fund the materials. Sipho’s dreams are to increase this garden over time to a bigger market garden and rear goats and chickens as well. Sipho was given a hand up not a hand out.
Chris and I decided to visit the paediatric ward at Good Shepherd Hospital to bring some cheer, hand outs some gifts and have a little play with the children. Some of the children come in from distant villages all on their own, some as young as 7 years old, who are then diagnosed with HIV (families often do not have the transport money and even paying for one person puts a lot of pressure on them). Imagine being on your own as a child, having tests, etc with no one to calm your fears or hold your hand. These are very brave little people.
Chris performed some magic tricks (those foam balls and metal rings really came in handy) and we played some games and gave out some toys. We gave a bag of beanies (which were knitted by some of the women back home in Australia) to new mums in the neo-natal section. They were so pleased and very thankful!