Eswatini (Formerly Swaziland) is one of the countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS. With a population which is more than 25% HIV positive, there are many orphans left to fend for themselves. There are many child-headed families and many neglected or abused children. Peter & Michelle McCubbin could not ignore the situation around them and wanted to help in some way. So, in October 2003, they established a small children’s home on Pasture Valley (their family farm) for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).
Presently, they care for over 60 children on the farm and their satellite site at Ekutheleni, They also support over 450 other local children living in the community with school fees, food packages and school uniforms. This does not do much to improve the situation in Eswatini generally but it does give these particular children a chance of a better life. The children were referred by SOS Children’s Villages, Save the Children Fund, Department of Social Welfare, Doctors without Borders and Our Lady of Sorrows Mission. They aim to provide a stable Christian home for the children where they can be part of the activities on the farm and learn and play in the freedom the farm provides.
The children stay in various houses on the farm, living as families where house-mothers take care of them. The older children attend schools nearby and the younger children are educated in the pre-school on the farm. Great care is taken to ensure that the children retain their Swazi identity and that they are able to slot back into normal Swazi family life when appropriate.
Vula Amehlo Trust has made a number of donations to Pasture Valley over the years. We supported the building and equipping of a new Education Centre, which was completed in February 2011 and is functioning well. The Trust has also helped provide computer equipment, clothing, education costs, school uniforms, driving lessons, bedding, building development, repairs & upgrading plus the cost of an occasional outing. Many of the children now have a sponsor to cover basic school fees but it costs an average of £1800 per year to care for each child (including food, clothes, fuel, carer salary, medical costs etc. but excluding capital/building costs).
The Trust also pays for hosting of Pasture Valley’s website and one of our Trustees is the webmaster.
See our “Support Us” page if you would like to help with care costs and invest in a child’s future with either a regular or one-off donation. All donations, no matter how small or large, are welcome and will make a real difference in a child’s life.
Click here to visit the Pasture Valley Website (Opens in new window)