The Missionary Sisters have been serving at St. Philip’s Mission in the lowveld region of Swaziland since 1971. Today, they continue to serve at the mission running the health care services and outreaches, and boarding hostels or OVC children, as well as supporting the education program, agriculture program, and providing skills training. In recent years, efforts have been made to specifically respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Swaziland by expanding services to include:
OVC Hostel – established to care for the high rate of children orphaned by AIDS. Many of the children are compromised by malnutrition and chronic conditions such as TB and kidney disease. Children receive full room and board, as well as health care, and educational, emotional, and psychosocial support and other services. Children visit their homesteads and remaining extended family members often in our effort to keep them connected to their communities. Great emphasis is focused on nurturing the childrens’ Swazi identity.
Click on Care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children to read more about the orphan care program.
Home-Based Care – Started with a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Home Based Care program focuses on caring for the sick and dying, testing for and monitoring HIV and TB, helping people begin treatment, and transporting people to the hospital to receive treatment.
Click on Health Care Outreach to read more about the health care program.
Education – The educational program began over fifteen years ago when it was discovered that many children in the homesteads were not in school and their families could not afford to send them. With the assistance of the Swiss Solon Foundation, once the children are on the foundation grant, their education is guaranteed through 7th grade if they pass. This increases their chances for individualized growth and better employment opportunities. A special tutoring program called the “Bridge School” program helps students study intensively to reach the grade level appropriate to their age.
Agriculture – In 2005, Cabrini Ministries established an irrigated farm. This project provides supplemental fruits and vegetables for the patients in the health care program and the OVC children in the hostel, and helps to create a sustainable income for those children and adults learning agricultural skills and maintenance.
Skills-training/Staff at Cabrini Ministries– Cabrini Ministries employs about 40 local Swazi people to help run all of the above works. Training is provided as well as income and other benefits for our employees. An aftercare program has also been established to help hostel children 18+ build the job and life skills and experience they need to take care of themselves as adults.