By buying from Swazi’s locally acquired resources (like marula nuts, moringa seeds, and crawfish), then seeking out markets to sell these products Kudvumisa Foundation is empowering the community to provide for their family and invest in their futures.
Florence and Bongiwe are two examples of Swazi’s providing for their families through Kudvumisa’s economic projects. On a weekly basis these two diligent women sell cracked marula nuts to Kudvumisa. When their neighborhood’s marula nuts are finished together they walk two hours to collect 4-5 kg’s of marula nuts found piled up next to the many village bars that use the fruit to brew alcohol. Catching local transport then wheeling their bounties back home in a wheelbarrow they have are resourcefully providing for their families.
Florence Matsenjwa, a 50 year old widower, cracks 3 kg’s of marula nuts almost every two weeks. From the money she gets from the cracked nuts she is able to buy herself some basic needs like salt, sugar, matches, candles, and washing soap without depending on her two grown children for these things. She has also wisely invests her money monthly by joining a local food scheme that pays out in bundles of different kinds of food at the end of the year when her money is tightest.
Bongiwe Ngubeni, a mother of 7 girls and 1 boy, makes cracking marula nuts a family affair by teaching her kids the skills of cracking and is able to brings in 3-5 kg’s of product almost every week. With the money she makes by selling her cracked marula nuts she is able to provide transport fare and simple household needs for the kids like salt, sugar, and matches without having to ask her husband for money who is busy working in the sugarcane fields as a cane cutter. Her goal next year is to save up enough of her marula nut money so she’s able to buy materials to improve her families mud and sick house.
Bongiwe believes that because this income is helping keep the bellies of her kids full it reduces their risk of acquiring HIV. You see, often when kids are hungry they run to the nearby bars at night asking the men there for food. This food given by men often come with strings attached, but because this income keeps her kids fed it reduces their risk of making poor choices that can lead them to a life of living with HIV.
Kudvumisa Foundation is invest in continuing to find locally acquired resources that can bring economic empowerment to the people of Swaziland.
by Thokozane Khumalo, edited by Jessie Bohannon