UK’s SHSK school pupils support Mhlumeni

Student Expedition to Eswatini to build pre-school

Eswatini Education and making Dreams a Reality. The initiative driven by 16 pupils from St Helen and St Katharine High School (UK) has illuminated a beacon of hope for hundreds of emaSwati children and young individuals residing in the remote community of Mhlumeni, situated in the Lubombo Region. This initiative marks a significant step towards fulfilling the community’s long-standing aspiration of establishing their inaugural high school. Presently, youngsters from the vicinity undertake arduous journeys on foot or hitchhike approximately 20 kilometers to Siteki for high school education.

Story in Observer Newspaper

The persistent dream of the community to institute a high school received a substantial boost when the UK pupils generously contributed E60,000 in cash to support the project. These pupils, who engaged in a four-week volunteering excursion facilitated by Sense Africa, were profoundly moved by the challenges faced by the community. Their proactive involvement began in their inaugural week in the country, demonstrating their dedication to making a tangible difference.

Making Dreams Reality: Embarking on a Community Vision

The pupils initiated brick-making, a new experience from the UK. The community actively joined, adding depth. According to Jenny Bowen, ‘Making Dreams Reality: Eswatini Education’ fulfilled Mhlumeni’s high school dream.

However, Bowen criticized local bureaucratic processes. Delays worsened challenges for Mhlumeni’s children. Despite this, she remained optimistic about eventual success.

Meanwhile, UK pupils revitalized the local pre-school. They refurbished, repainted, and added educational murals.

“Again, the community’s dedication was evident and touching. The UK volunteers will cherish these enduring memories,” Bowen emphasized.

Siphiwo Pre-School - Eswatini Education

Making Dreams Reality: Eswatini Education

The rotating student leader, Helen Brain, expressed the girls’ excitement at embarking on their first journey from the UK to impact young lives.

“This trip has proven to be transformative on multiple fronts. Many of us had never experienced Africa before. The warmth and hospitality of the people here have been genuinely overwhelming. Engaging in various tasks, everyone found fulfilment, and the community’s support was invaluable. We eagerly anticipate sharing the depth of this invaluable experience with our friends and families back home. The team ardently wishes for the aspiring high school in Mhlumeni to become a reality, providing the same opportunities that children elsewhere receive,” articulated Brain.

Jenny in front of the pre school - Eswatini Education

Swaziland Tourism Authority: Eswatini Education

Meanwhile, STA Marketing Manager Bongani Dlamini extended his organisation’s appreciation to Sense Africa, as well as to St Helen and St Katharine High School for their great humanitarian work. There were three different groups from the same school, and they worked at different areas in the Lubombo and Shiselweni regions. The fourth group worked in Nhlangano.

Jenny Bowen

Author: Jenny Bowen

I live for travel, whether it is at home or abroad. It is a joy to explore new places, meet new people and to have an adventure. There are so many wonderful places to visit and such fascinating wildlife to see, you never know what is around the corner! Live life to the full and restore your soul.