(Registered Charity #1139392 – Part of Truro and Penwith College Trust Limited) (https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/truropenwithcollegetrustltd)
Children in Swaziland have free education for just three years, from age 6 to 9. After that, parents have to pay school fees. There are many (hundreds) of orphans in Shewula with no on to pay for their education beyond the age of 9.
Shewula is an impoverished rural region in Eastern Swaziland, close to the Mozambique border. The country of Swaziland and the region of Shewula have been massively impacted by HIV and AIDs. With an estimated 1 in 3 adults having the disease and life expectancy standing at a lowly 40 years as a result, the impacts are huge. Not least on the most vulnerable in society; the communities’ children.
Truro and Penwith Colleges’ International Baccalaureate and Geography departments have been supporting the children and community of Shewula since 2001, with the main aim being the enablement of AIDs orphans and other vulnerable children in Shewula to access education.
There are two main ways that you can help support this charity.
- Donate to Boom Shewula Wula (BSW) which helps to pay for the informal school system in the region (details below), or,
- Sponsor a child to attend the formal school via the Child Sponsorship Scheme Shewula (CSSS) (details below).
Since the administration costs of CSSS and BSW are met by fundraising, all donations go directly to pay for the education of the children themselves. Your contribution will directly enhance the life-chances of children in Shewula.
Boom Shewula Wula (BSW) – Option 1
BSW is a fund raising group, run by A level Geography and IB students who have visited Shewula, which organises events to support the orphans/vulnerable children. Since the first Truro College visit in 2001, over £35,000 has been raised. All of this has been used to pay for school buildings and facilities for the informal schools which the Shewula orphans attend.
The cost of fees, uniforms, stationery etc. means that most orphans/vulnerable children are simply unable to afford to go to school.
Background information about the community-based organisation, Ayibuy’imbeleko Shewula* (which is supported by BSW).
Ayibuy’imbeleko Shewula is an organisation that was established in January 2001. Towards the end of 2000 a survey was carried out to assess the number of school-age children in the Shewula region who were not attending school and it emerged that hundreds of children were not in education.
The programme started as a response to this, and a committee was set up to try and address the key issues, especially those relating to children’s rights – the rights to food, healthcare, protection and education. With buildings part-funded by Truro College, the programme has established three non-formal schools and one pre-school to serve the Shewula community. These Sebenta (non-formal) schools offer access to free education to orphans and vulnerable children.
In addition to their schooling, the children receive a daily meal and the staff are able to monitor their health and welfare; thus the Sebenta schools try to meet both the educational and welfare needs of the children. The programme also helps to reintegrate some children into the formal schools, assisting with school fees. However, limited funds mean that it is a small minority who receive this assistance.
How can you help?
By donating to BSW you will help to keep these essential Sebenta schools open for some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in Shewula
- Donations can be made in the form of a cheque made payable to ‘Truro and Penwith College’ and sent to: BSW, Finance Dept, Truro College, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3XX. or,
- By donating online via our BT MyDonate page using the following link: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/truropenwithcollegetrustltd
* Ayibuy’ imbeleko Shewula translates as follows:
Ayibuye – Let’s bring it back
imbeleko – the cloth/animal skin (normally goat skin) that is used to carry a baby.
So when we say Ayibuy’imbeleko shewula we mean everyone must take responsibility to take care of the children; to take the orphans as our own. You would at most carry a baby on your back because he/she is yours, so what the words mean is: let’s adopt these children as our own.
Child Sponsorship Scheme Shewula (CSSS) – Option 2
Child Sponsorship Scheme Shewula (CSSS) is a project set up by Truro and Penwith College students, in partnership with the Shewula Orphans Committee, to provide a formal education for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in the district of Shewula. Hundreds of children in Shewula cannot attend the formal/government schools in Shewula because they are unable to afford to pay the school fees and the costs of school uniforms (Read the background information). CSSS was set up in October 2007 as a branch of Boom Shewula Wula (BSW).
The aim of CSSS is to significantly increase the financial support that we offer through BSW. We feel that there are many people in the Truro & Penwith College Community who would be willing to contribute £10/month to pay for the education of an orphan in Shewula. CSSS provides a system by which this can be achieved in a simple and efficient way**.
Funds are collected by standing order in the Truro & Penwith College (CSSS) account and are transferred every December to the Shewula Orphans Committee. The Committee then decides which children are most in need of support and arranges for the payment to be made in time for the start of the academic year in January.
During 2008 CSSS paid school fees for 24 students in Shewula. This increased to over 100 by 2010 and this level has been maintained for the last few years. Due to a lack of funding for the informal schools, there is an increasing need to help Shewula orphans to attend the formal schools.
A Level Geography and IB students at Truro & Penwith College (past and present) have forged a special relationship with the Shewula community and shown amazing commitment in raising funds to support the Shewula orphans. Thank you for helping to sustain this unique bond and for making a direct impact on the life of a vulnerable child/orphan in Shewula.
** CSSS is not just confined to the Truro College community. For example ‘Stichting Shewula’ www.shewula.nl – a support group from the Netherlands – are supporting 20 students over a period of five years.
This poignant image shows Letsiwe and Mpho, an orphaned sister and brother from Shewula. In the background, beyond the fence, is Majambeni Primary School. This is the local school which Letsiwe and Mpho are unable to attend because their carers cannot afford the school fees. CSSS aims to enable orphans and vulnerable children like Letsiwe and Mpho to receive a formal education by paying their school fees.
In December you will receive confirmation that your payment has been received. In March you’ll learn the name(s) of the child/children that you have sponsored. In September/October you’ll receive details about renewing your sponsorship.
Since the administration costs of the CSSS system are met by funds from Truro College, all donations go directly to pay for the fees/uniforms of the children themselves.
Shewula Update (March 2013)
There are currently over 150 children who are unable to attend school for financial reasons. CSSS provides a means whereby sponsors can directly support the education of individual orphans/vulnerable children in Shewula. Since funding from COSPE (an Italian NGO) ceased in 2009, two out of the three non-formal schools have closed. Therefore there is now an even greater need to reintegrate orphans/vulnerable children into the formal schools.
Although the Swazi government pays almost a quarter of the fees for each orphan, the extended families of orphans and child-headed families are unable to pay the balance.