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Go-go House in Swaziland

New Home for a Swazi Grandmother
and Her Family


The Beginning... A powerful Partnership emerged in 2012 when Mandy Hubbard of Kalang entered the life of Bellingen Rotary. A Swazi-born mother, she was invited to speak to the Club about her volunteer work with Possible Dreams International (PDI).

The Background... PDI works in 32 remote and rural areas of Swaziland (now called Eswatini), a landlocked nation in Sub-Saharan Africa. A large majority of the people live in extreme poverty in remote and rural areas. PDI provides emergency aid relief including medical care, food, housing, and sustainable development solutions including water access, agricultural support and micro-enterprise projects. Their team consists of local Swazi people and international volunteers.

The Problem... Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world and over 20% of the children are orphaned children. Most of these children live with a grandparent or in child-raising-children households. There is an insidious cycle of extreme poverty, lack of education and HIV/AIDS leading to the world’s lowest life expectancy and fastest death rate with approximately 38% of people HIV Positive. Many poor families living in Swaziland lack adequate housing and have no social or financial backup for anyone sick and unable to work. Most houses are made of mud and stick and are extremely vulnerable to storms and extremes of weather. The “Go-go’s” (grandmothers) look raise their grandchildren after their parents have been lost to HIV. Families are often affected by malnutrition, endemic disease and homelessness and have limited access to healthcare, transport, medications and food.

The Solution... PDI’s Empowerment Packages not only provide a beautiful brand new house for these families but also a five thousand litre water tank to establish water access, income generation planning and home agricultural projects to help the family feed themselves. Houses are built to PDI standards of excellence and builders are all derived from the local community, often coming from impoverished backgrounds themselves.

The Partnership... The club decided to partner with Possible Dreams International, to raise funds to build a house for one family living in extreme poverty.

The Project... This was a four-stage process spanning over two years:

Stage 1: (November 2012) A series of discussions with Mandy resulted in a further presentation to the club to discuss the concept, confirm project costing, process to be taken, and usage of the funds. The Board then determined and implemented an action plan.

Stage 2: (January 2013 - October 2014) The implementation of the club's action plan involved a series of club and joint partnership fund raising activities and ongoing discussions with Possible Dreams International.

Stage 3: (November 2014) - The fundraising projects culminated in a final "Emakhaya 4 Gogo" (Homes for Grandma) community twilight reception and fundraising activity, jointly hosted with Possible Dreams. In total, DPI raised $15,000 (twice as much as projected), including Rotary’s fund raising donation of $4,500. The culmination of this and other events provided enough funds for two Swazi grandmothers and one Swazi grandfather caring for HIV/AIDs orphans with new homes. 

Stage 4: Construction of the home for "our" Go-go and her family commenced and was completed. Rotary also provided a water tank construction of a home and water tank. This is an important component of the project as this enables the family to grow food and supplement their meagre income. None of this would have been possible without Mandy’s visit to a Rotary Meeting back in 2012 when the club decided to support this extremely worthwhile project. 

The Presentation... 

The Family...

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Bellingen Rotary presents a $4500 checque on 15 Nov 2014. This will build one home for a family in Swaziland. The Club worked hard for two years to raise funds for this project, with thrilling success.

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Introducitng our Go-go (Grandmother)... Katherine and her family have moved into their new home provided by this fundraising project.

Bellingen Rotary was proud to partner with Mandy Hubbard and Possible Dreams International to make this dream come true for Go-go Katherine and her seven grandchildren.

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