History

  • 2001

    2001

    March 2001 The Carlson family, traveled to Southern Africa with Bruce on a business trip.  Amongst many other amazing places, they made a stop in Swaziland.  They were struck by the pastoral beauty, the gentleness of the people and by the poverty of Swaziland.

    School is not completely a socialized service in most of Africa.  In all rural areas of Swaziland, there are hundreds and thousands of children not attending school due to lack of funds within the families.  They met and became friendly with a principal of an elementary school, called Matjana in the KaPhunga region. Here the need was and still is very great.  Bruce and Pam offered to support a group of 12 students in 2002, ten at elementary and two in high school.  Letters, photos and school receipts were exchanged by mail that first school year.

  • 2002

    2002

    In September 2002, Pam re-visited the Matjana school and its neighbouring Kaphunga Secondary School.  All students were in the classrooms, stationery supplies were in use and new uniforms and school shoes were being worn.  In other words, the funds that had been forwarded all seemed to be being used accordingly.  With confidence that we were dealing with reputable and honest heads of schools, we decided to try and approach friends and family to extend our reach and ability to help. 
  • 2003

    2003

    In 2003, we tripled our efforts with over 30 children being helped.  Each year the education side of our program has grown to over 80 students in 2008.  Sponsors are approached and re-approached yearly and asked if they would cover the “user fee” portion of the assigned child/children’s school fees for another year.  Costs range from $200/year at elementary to $400-$700 /year at the secondary school level.

  • 2004

    2004 Our 1st logo

  • 2006

    2006

    In 2006 we branched out into new areas.

    Water:  In 2006, we raised funds from sudden and unexpected sources, one time donors, to drill and install three boreholes (drinking water wells) and pumps.  Providing drinking water to two very remote communities who had been suffering in a four year drought at that time and offering water to the Kaphunga area by way of a community and school well at the Matjana Elementary.

    Since ’06 we have provided funds for a series of smaller water projects; purchasing several 5,000 liter holding tanks for drought ridden communities in which to store government issue emergency water rations, supplying the last few kilometers of piping and local taps to another region, supplying taps and individual storage facilities to a small group of homesteads who gather rain water tumbling down a nearby rock face.

    We enjoy being part of water projects.  They are generally fast and relatively easy to pull together, they require larger amounts of cash, but leave in a community a sustainable improvement from which the villagers will benefit for years to come.

    Building Projects 2006:  2006 also marked our first year embarking on the largest yet project of raising completely separate funds for the building materials required to build a four bedroom home 1300 sq ft.  We raised $25,000 USD through a series of fun initiatives and forwarded the funds through African Leadership Partners (a US funded foundation operating in Swaziland,) who were spearheading the project for us on the ground.  We were building a home for 8 abandoned children at New Life Homes in the Kamfishane region.   When the 11 Canadians arrived to begin the building of this home, the slab had been prepared, building materials were on site, permits in place and our local Swazi foremen were there waiting for us.  This trip proved to be our best yet.  We were a mixed bag of friends and family, with 5 teens ranging up from age 11, two middle aged women and four middle-aged, maybe even aging men.  We left behind the home at the trussing stage, with the next building crew on our heels.  The home began occupancy within about two months of our departure and now houses a housemother and eight orphaned children, who will live there permanently.

  • 2009

    2009

    Building Trip 2009: August-September 2009 saw our second trip to Swaziland to build.  Twelve Canadians banded together, with $10,000 raised and traveled to complete a home for a destitute family of 9 in the outskirts of Mbabane.  The home was small, only about 800 sq ft, with 2 bedrooms.  However, it is high and dry and solid.  It has running water and a flush toilet and is the first real home for the 82 matriarch, Gogo Girlie.

    Clothing:  Taking clothing with us is an easy thing to do.  Before all trips, our baggage limits are investigated, good quality used clothing is lovingly labeled for the recipients and packed.   Bags are weighed and measured to limit our overage.  If there is room in our vehicle at the other end, usually excess bags are packed and paid for, with the contents being invaluable when we get to the other side.  Amongst those receiving the clothing are: all of our students at high school and elementary, local HIV clinics, orphaned children at a regional halfway house and the children at the New Life Homes farm.  This is an inexpensive and yet impacting way to be of some service.

    Adoption:  In 2007-08 the Carlson family, personally, decided to attempt the first-ever inter country adoption out of Swaziland.  The story is a very long and tortuous one, but the outcome was worth the journey. Although adoption is not specifically within the mandate of our charity, it is mentioned here because Pam now carries a deep understanding of the process of inter county adoption, in particular from this country, and anyone interested in further information is welcome to make contact with the Carlson family.