A Visit to a Homestead

We often go on home-based healthcare visits to the homesteads. This involves driving out through the bush on a dirt road to get to someone who may be too sick to come visit us.

People live in stick and mud huts with no running water or electricity. We take food to people and distribute it if they come to us. Also, we assess their health and test blood or take them to the hospital if needed.

Thandiwe here is in a position of submission on the welcome mat.

Below is a photo of Bobby Farris, who served as a volunteer nurse on the Mission, and Siphiwe. Siphiwe is one of our patients. She is blind- one of the side effects of HIV. Siphiwe means “give” in Siswati. (Every Swazi name has a meaning, named after some special event or significance in a person’s life.) Siphiwe has late-stage HIV. She was one of our earliest ARV patients. Here, Bobby is checking in on her. Siphiwe has been on ARVs for two years now.

This is the typical scene at a child-headed homestead. There are an estimated 95,000 orphans ages 0-17 in a country of only 1.1 million (1/8 the population of New York City alone). We have 127 orphans and vulnerable children at the hostel, and we’ve built more hostel space in the past to try to take on more, because children have to be turned away. Grandparents, relatives, and unattended children walk in from the bush for help. Hopefully, we can do more and more things to build the economy and infrastructure of the Mission.