SMILES IN THE KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND!
3rd March 2016
"Welcome to the Kingdom of Swaziland, where we are proud to work together and to connect with our brothers and sisters from around the world."
With these words Pastor Jacob Mahlangu the President of the Swaziland Conference greeted the 8 volunteers and 2 ADRA-UK staff with who had travelled to Swaziland to distribute thousands of gift boxes that you helped us to collect last year.
The 10-day trip was filled with daily visits to schools across Swaziland, with a focus on rural schools in the Shiselweni, Lubombo and Kaphunga regions. The volunteers travelled to these mountainous areas every day to unload and sort hundreds of boxes from the truck into classrooms.
Upon our arrival at the schools, the children excitedly cleared a classroom in preparation for the distribution. Then, they enthusiastically lined up in the sweltering African sun to receive their boxes, listening attentively to instructions from their teachers before they came one by one, starting with the youngest (3-6), to receive a gift box from members of the volunteer team.
After the children received their boxes they usually returned to their classrooms to show, share and sometimes swap their items with friends and classmates before they had to return to their studies. However, on the last day of our school distribution, the children were so excited and happy that the head teacher simply said, "There is no point in us teaching for the rest of the day. The children are just too excited!"
We spent Sabbath in worship at a church on a hilltop in the rural village of Kaphunga where word had spread of the gift boxes throughout the week so that the church was so full they had to hold another service simultaneously in the half-built classroom next to the church!
From all the children in the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland they would like to say "Siyabonga" ‒ which simply means in Swati ‒ thank you!
From all of the volunteers, and ADRA-UK staff, we would like to say thank for helping us to bring smiles to the faces of children in Swaziland!