Siyabonga! Giving Thanks for Friends and Family

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends, family, and supporters out there! One of the greatest things about the holidays is gathering together with friends and family.

We in Swaziland feel grateful for having become friends with some United States personnel and other people working in Swaziland who are very supportive of our work.

One of these people is Scott Mooneyham, who is the Regional Security Officer for the United States Embassy in Swaziland. He is good friends with Thom Krauss, another great guy who has visited Swaziland (and is an Ironman- see his website Scott is involved with a project that aims to reuse the wood from the crates that large items are shipped to Swaziland in, to make furniture for schools and for other charitable purposes.

Above is a photo of Sicelo, one of our OVC kids, who is 19 years old, and currently in our “aftercare” program for kids who are older, but need help with learning job skills and finding a job before going out completely on their own. Sicelo has been doing work-study in our agriculture program, getting paid a stipend while learning maintenance and agricultural skills, for a year and a half. He lives on his homestead which is 3-4 miles away from our farm, but we’ve given him a bike, which makes the difference between a 10 minute bike-commute to work and a 1 1/2hr walk each way. He is planning to attend a trade school in Manzini in January 2008, and has shown a desire to learn carpentry. Scott has connected with Sicelo, and is looking into the possibility to get Sicelo a carpentry apprenticeship. It’s great that our network is growing in such a way.

We’re building some new staff housing on the Mission, and Eric Olson has been chipping in to assist with this project. His wife works for the Peace Corps in Swaziland, and he has a construction background. Eric has been coming out to oversee the building project, advising our head of maintenance, and generally offering great help.

Christine Stevens is the US Government’s HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, otherwise known as the PEPFAR coordinator for Swaziland, stationed in Mbabane. With US resources, PEPFAR is able to help support Cabrini Ministries’ health care program. Christine is a great ally in our work to bring treatment to people with HIV/AIDS, and Cabrini Ministries has been chosen as a pilot site for an example of quality care at the community level.

Betsy Kummer is also in Swaziland with her husband who works for the Peace Corps. We have really enjoyed her friendship and truly appreciate her active involvement with our works. Betsy has made a beautiful video production of our works here that we will use in future presentations. The video features staff, volunteers, a ShelterBox distribution, and song & dance from the kids in the hostel (who always like to put on a show when they return from breaks). Click below on the arrow to view. (If you have a slower internet connection, you may not be able to view the video.)

Thanks to all friends and family for your love and support, and a deep Thanksgiving THANK YOU (SIYABONGA!) to all,
Blessings and love,
Sr. Barbara & Sr. Diane

One thought on “Siyabonga! Giving Thanks for Friends and Family

  1. Sister Barbara and Sister Diane,
    we have talked and shared so much about you and your story in my class, during thanksgiving at my mothers house we sent out vibes to you ladies, and since i had met sister Barbara i sent mine to you. My family was very intersted and concerned for the things you do on a day to day basis. on the day of thanks, i was thankful for all that i already had, and tried a hiatus from wishing for more. Dr Pierson says that anytime the children are asked how they are doing, they all say great or good today. i am going to minimalize my complaining and wishing and put my thoughts and good energy towards you and all that you have done. i will continue to pray for you and all the children and women who benefit from your work! thinking of you always now… love and peace!

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