Saturday, March 30, 2013

Swaziland Update: New Patient Van, Crawfish, Marula Nuts and More!

http://eepurl.com/xp14n

SNAP UPDATE:  We are working with SNAP (Swaziland National Aids Programme) under the Ministry of Health for a Public-Private Partnership Agreement that will allow us to provide ARV (drugs to control HIV) refills and initiations in the communities we work in.  This will be a unique opportunity in Swaziland to pilot and roll out a vital mobile service to the rural and isolated HIV population Kudvumisa Foundation/CHIPS serves.  There is progress!
Our first of two requirements to meet are appropriate drug storage.  This requires about $1500 for air-conditioning and lockable cabinets for drug storage.  Second, we will also be needing a full time nurse to work in the targeted communities.  We would be most grateful for a volunteer nurse, but if not, we will be required to fund the salary of the nurse, which is one of the highest gazetted salaries here in Swaziland (about $1000/month) .  If you can help in either of these two needs (or know someone who can) please contact us!

CHIPS Patient Van Replacement

Thanks to everyone who attended the March 9th fundraiser at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.  It was a great success and the process has begun to apply the funds to a Rotary International Future Vision grant for the patient van replacement.  We're hoping to have the funds here mid April and the new van mid May.


Good Friday

This from Isaiah 53 is especially appropriate today:
1 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
We are honored and privileged to be able to be here in Swaziland and do what we do.  We are thankful for the support and prayers of everyone who makes it possible.

Crawfish

WhiThokozane placing a crawfish trap in the Mbuluzile our attempt at middle veld crawfish farming has been slightly less than successful so far, with the introduction of decent traps, there are several people catching Australian Redclaw Crawfish now in the low veld Mbuluzi River in Maphiveni and the dams and canals in Tambankulu and Vuvulane.  We delivered our first shipment to a hotel/restaurant in Mbabane.  We are hoping they will come through with a 10kg per month standing order to start.  This is a great start in an economic development project which will contribute to combating poverty in these areas and will contribute to the sustainability of the CHIPS outreach.  This picture is from the Mbuluzi.  Thokozane, a friend of ours from Evusweni in the middle veld, just placed a trap.  He thought I was kidding when I said there are hippos and crocodiles in the river.


Marula Nuts and Shells

We take delivery of a screw press next week to press oil from marula nuts and moringa seeds.  Another experiment in creating income in the impoverished areas we work in.  If successful, we hope to be able to provide affordable nutritious cooking oil to the informal market while creating an income opportunity for people in our areas from a readily available natural resource that is discarded now.  We are using the marula shells to manufacture fire starters as well.  These have met with great enthusiasm form the people who have tried it.  All these if successful contribute to an economy in Maphiveni and Vuvulane and the the sustainability of our outreaches here.

Daran in Baton Rouge and Baltimore

Daran will be traveling to the States for two weeks in May.  His first week will be in Baton Rouge coinciding a May 4th Rotary fundraiser for the purchase of land in Maphiveni for a clinic and community eduction center.  More details will be forthcoming on the fundraiser.  The last week will be in Baltimore to visit Gabby.  Though the trip is short, he'd love to meet with our supporters in these two areas (and anywhere in between) if possible.  Email us and we can work out the details.
Thobile in 2008

Update on Thobile

Late February Thobile succumbed to numerous bouts of TB and finally MDR-TB and the subsequent treatments in addition to years of being on treatment for HIV.  We won't know and I guess it doesn't matter at this point what was the final straw.  She died the day after receiving a major blood transfusion for a major decline in her condition.  Her mother had visited her that morning and was on her way back with juice for her.  Teresa was heart broken.  Daran and Joelle went to the funeral and was given a chance to speak to the small gathering about the impact Thobile had had on many people's lives and for her love of Jesus.  She wasn't here anymore in pain or suffering: she was in the presence of the Lord she loved.  Thobile would have been about 21 years old.
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