Shewula is an impoverished rural region in Eastern Swaziland, close to the Mozambique border. The country of Swaziland and 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 48 years as a result, the impacts are huge. Not least on the most vulnerable in society; the communities' children.
Truro & Penwith (and Callywith( Colleges' Geography department and the IB Programme 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 support the most vulnerable, especially CHH (Child Headed Households), with uniforms, food, social support, transport, medical costs and many other essential things to help ensure educational attendance, 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 £100,000 has been raised. All of this is used to support the most vulnerable in the community with food, clothes, transport and social work support. All of which are vital to ensure the children attend school. The BSW funds also help run adult education classes as well as vocational courses four children who are not as 'academic' in essential trades such as agriculture, plumbing, beekeeping and carpentry.
The cost of top-up, uniforms, stationery etc. means that most orphans/vulnerable children are unable to afford to go to school without the support from Truro College fundraising.
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 established three non-formal schools and one pre-school to serve the Shewula community. These Sebenta (non-formal) schools offered access to free education to the youngest as they have all been transferred to the formal schools, but the premises are still supported by BSW to run vocational course and adult education classes.
How can you help?
By donating to BSW you will help to ensure that the support network is in place to support the most vulnerable children in the community to ensure that they are still able to attend school and get the education that they deserve.
- 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 struggle to attend the formal/government schools in Shewula because they are unable to afford to top-up the school fees and the costs of school uniforms. 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 or vulnerable child 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, over 120 by 2017 and this level has been maintained continually since then.
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.
In December you will receive confirmation that your payment has been received. Historically, we used to provide individuals with the names of each child sponsored, but due to exchange rate variations and other factors out of our control it is easier to give a total number in the sponsorship scheme. 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.
CSSS Finance Department
(Registered Charity #1139392 – Part of Truro and Penwith College Trust Limited) (https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/truropenwithcollegetrustltd)
Shewula Update (August 2016)
The community has just suffered from one of the worst droughts in recent years (caused by a very strong El Nino year). This has affected some of the most vulnerable children in the community. As a result, BSW has stepped in with food aid to ensure that these children are able to have a regular daily medal and, ultimately, still attend school as a result.
Shewula Update (July 2018)
A couple of Shewula children who entered the sponsorship scheme in 2011 after losing their parents have recently graduated University as qualified teachers (and actually completed some of their teaching placements back at their old secondary school in Shewula) - this is something that would not have been possible without the support of the sponsorship scheme - proof that the system works!