African Village School, Ekudzeni, Swaziland, South Africa


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The First Three Classrooms

In 2004 we began the daunting task of raising money to begin building the school. We thought, at the time, that this may take our life time but were prepared to commit to getting the job done - no matter how long it took! The Swaziland Black Tie Ball became an annual fund raising event and being able to use our family place of worship, St Lukes Church, West Norwood,, free of charge not only provides us with a fabulous venue but all profits can go straight to the fund.The tractor proved to be an invaluable resource working at the school site daily transporting sand, cement, water containers and people! As money was raised Lynn returned regularly to Swaziland to purchase materials and pay builders and labourers - all employed from the local community. The Swire Charitable Trust ( generously contributed towards this. The bricks were made by hand and other materials sourced from the nearest town. The government initially agreed that, once the classrooms were completed, they would take over the day to day running providing staff and equipment. To our amazement we managed to raise enough money to complete the first 3 classrooms and have them ready to open in January 2007 less than three years after we began fund raising. We opened with 37 children and one wonderful teacher Linda Kunene who also lived within the local community. We had one temporary toilet and had to provide all books and writing equipment. Our long suffering teacher, Linda, regularly worked for months without pay, trusting us to pay her as and when we could! Once again the congregation and Sunday School of St Lukes Church also came into their own...............

One member of St Lukes, aptly named Betty Friend, ran up a huge number of pencil cases, practically overnight, using scrap material. The Sunday School children worked hard to fill them with pens, pencils, colouring items, rulers, erasers etc. so all our Swazi children could start their new school adventure fully equipped for a hard day's work! As you can see from the photo's our children were delighted to receive these.


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