Back in October of 2003, Peter and Michelle Mcubbin established a small children's home on Pasture Valley (their family farm) for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs). Eswatini (Formerly Swaziland) is one of the countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS with a population which is more than 25% HIV positive. This has resulted in many orphans left to be cared for by the extended family or to fend for themselves when the family structure can no longer cope. 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.
The home has grown over the years and they presently care for over 60 children on the farm. 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 have been referred by SOS Children's Villages, Save the Children Fund, Department of Social Welfare, Doctors without Borders and Our Lady of Sorrows Mission. All referrals are assessed by a social worker and admission to Pasture Valley is in consultation with the Social Welfare Department. Pasture Valley aims to provide a stable Christian home for the children where they can live, learn and play in the freedom the farm provides assisting them to achieve their full potential.
The children live in one of 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 has recently (July 2021) sent a grant of £5400 to cover the cost of higher education fees for an older child, some carpentry equipment, renewal of school bags and new curtains and rails for the on-site homeschool.
The Trust also pays for hosting of Pasture Valley's website and one of our Trustees is the webmaster.
Michelle McCubbin with some of the children enjoying a rest on the hay bale!
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.
Follow these links for more information about Pasture Valley Children's Home: