Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Swazi 1000 (Okay, so there won't be 1000 of them but "Swazi 210" doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi)

Swazi 1000 volunteers mix paint for projects last year
On Saturday, November 28, the 210 young people that make up the Swazi 1000 will descend on Bulembu for  fourteen days of hard work, spiritual growth and crazy adventures.  The Swazi 1000 was birthed when Focused Team Leadership Training (FTLT) from Pretoria came to Bulembu for a meeting. FTLT is an organization that sends students on missions across Africa. While here the FTLT staff realized that Bulembu would be the perfect place to send a large group of young people on a level one missions trip. So, together with the mission team at the University of Pretoria, FTLT came up with the vision of 1,000 students coming together to volunteer in Bulembu.  The students engage in spiritual and leadership development activities but also make up a massive physical labor force and take on work projects that drastically change the face of Bulembu's infrastructure in a mere two weeks.
Students walk home after a day of work
Take a look at these photos to see what the Swazi 1000 accomplished last year. The central project that the 370 students completed was the painting of the Village houses – fondly known as the Smartie Box houses.  
Sponsorship from Product Care provided the supplies to paint a number of other buildings around town like the church, control and the local barber shop.
This year the main project is renovating a set of the Dvudvusi orphan homes.  Smaller projects will include building fences around town, planting grass at the dairy pasture, cleaning up and preparing the old cableway station to make way for the new museum, clearing brush in Dvudvusi, renovating (primarily painting) the clinic, and working with the ladies in the creativity center.  Keep an eye out for blog updates as projects get underway!

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