|A panorama view from the Care Point in Bhandeni|
The most remarkable people here are the care volunteers - who are themselves, by any standard, poor and needy. Yet they find energy, concern and love to visit the families and homesteads of vulnerable children. Hands at Work in Africa support these people - help them to help each other within relationship groups where there is prayer and care for one another. Hands at Work provide food and resources to help the care volunteers feed the most needy children - which the care workers do every day as the children return from their monster walk from school.
|The remarkable care volunteers of Bhandeni|
We split into two groups, each with a care volunteer and someone who could translate into English for us and walked on the dusty, uneven roads in the hot Swaziland sun. Both the visits our group went to had a similar setting, a compound gated with a makeshift fence of wire and branches pushed into the groud as fence posts, leading into a homestead where several groups of the same extended family lived. At the second house the three children of the home were away fetching water - a long walk with a wheelbarrow from the borehole which supplies the whole village. The mother of the house was so pleased to see us and presented us with a plate of cooked cassava to share... this was all the more generous as earlier in the conversation we had talked about how the harvest had been for her and she had said it was not so good, and pointed to the hut which served as a grain store. Her generosity and welcome was so humbling to receive.
|Dusk at Bhandeni|
Returning to the care point, we found a number of children had already arrived and were collecting their food in turn and joining in with play activities. Some of the children were less withdrawn and less and were uncertain of us than they had been the day before, and after a while they were happy to join in with the games with the care volunteers and the rest of us.
After the children had eaten, we too shared the meal which they had enjoyed, rice, sugar beans, beetroot and cabbage - all eaten with fingers and all delicious.
|Waiting for Revival|
We headed for bed, knowing we would be up early to walk to school with the children from their homes to their nearest school.
|Some of the children after the revival night|