Mpolonjeni Development Program
This Development Program aims to improve the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable, using an approach that is long term (15-20 years), holistic, focused on children, and seeks to enable their families, local communities and partners to address the underlying causes of poverty. These root causes are not just lack of access to the basic necessities of life like water, food or health care, but also include inequities like gender or ethnic discrimination, or abusive practices like exploitation or domestic violence that affect a child’s well-being.
85 entrepreneurs were trained in business management, marketing, and recordkeeping to help them expand their businesses. We also helped them link with local markets to increase demand for their products, which include skin ointment, soap, and eggs. 278 people received training, seeds, and supplies to help them start vegetable gardens. In addition, 254 families planted fruit trees and are now enjoying fresh fruit such as mangoes and oranges. 588 families received goats and 300 families received chickens, providing them with sustainable sources of food and income. 330 farmers were trained in improved farming methods and the production of drought-tolerant crops, increasing the number of households with year-round access to sufficient food and contributing to 85 percent of households reporting increased yields. We partnered with the Ministry of Health to immunize 736 children living in remote areas. 25 rural health workers and 39 mothers were trained in proper nutrition for children younger than 5 and learned how to prepare nutritious meals using locally available foods. Peer educators and teachers we trained reached 4,768 schoolchildren with age-appropriate information on HIV and AIDS. Home-based caregivers we trained provided care and emotional support for more than 500 people affected by HIV or AIDS. In addition, we trained five church groups to assist chronically ill people. Through our life-skills program, 569 youth who didn't have the opportunity to attend school were trained in HIV prevention. We also expanded our life-skills program to include vocational training, equipping youth with skills to earn a living and helping to reduce their risk of contracting HIV, which is more prevalent among Swazi youth who can't find jobs. 45 home-based caregivers were trained in primary healthcare and healthy hygiene and sanitation practices. They in turn shared this information with the rest of the community and helped 120 families build latrines. 10 water committees were established to manage and maintain water systems so they will continue to provide clean water for years to come. The percentage of the population with access to clean water within 30 minutes of home increased from 62 percent to 70 percent thanks to a piped water system we installed with local partners. 152 orphans and vulnerable children received scholarships to help them stay in school. 30 volunteer preschool teachers were trained in early childhood development and classroom management. 388 people, including local leaders, teachers, and parents, were trained in child rights and the importance of holding children's forums where children have opportunities to voice their concerns. 3,765 children participated in our children's forums, where they learned about their rights and responsibilities and received psychosocial support to help them cope with difficult situations.
- Economic Recovery and Development