Two of the boys take a break to smile as they work hard chipping off floor tiling in their new kitchen.
On any given afternoon, if you wander up the stretch of road just above the old cable way station you will hear the sounds of tiles being scraped off a floor, brush being cleared from a yard and wet paint being rolled onto dry walls. These are the sounds of some of Bulembu’s young men renovating their new home.
Headed up by Jason Mitchell, one of Bulembu Ministries Swaziland’s youth program coordinators, the home is a project geared towards transitioning young men above the age of 18 out of the BMS children’s homes and into a more independent lifestyle.
“These young men are going to be responsible for caring for the house, cooking for themselves and over the past six weeks they have been actively involved in the remodeling of the home,” Jason explains. “The whole idea is about creating that sense of ownership and responsibility as they move into their adult lives.”
The young men have repainted the interior of the house, repaired most of the flooring, cleaned up the garden and have filled the house with furniture.
The outside of the home.
The program, however, extends far beyond the physical renovation of the home. “Within this community there is a lack of masculine influence in these boys’ lives,” says Jason. “We want to teach them what it means to be a man – especially a man of God – as they move towards roles as fathers, husbands and leaders within this community.”
With a few more finishing touches and an official ‘okay’ on the electrics and three young men from the BMS program will move into the house later this week under the supervision of Berto, another BMS youth program coordinator.
“Having these young men step into this new home with Berto is a part of what this town is all about,” Jason says. “Part of the overall BMS vision is to create leadership and mentors within the Swazi culture. These boys are a key part of that. Once they have been mentored they will mentor others and a cycle will be created that spreads positive masculine influence, building up young, Swazi men who are able to lead this country forward.”
Keep an eye out for final photos coming early next week!
One of the bedrooms mid-renovation.
A layer of paint changes the walls from purple to green in one of the home's three bedrooms.
The entrance room mid-renovation.