Salakutjelwa School, eSwatini

Following the completion of the project at Forbes Reef, work is now finishing off at another one supported by RCNV - Salakutjelwa.

This is the school where children were taught under a tree, shared water with cattle and women cooked for the children in the open.

Feb 2020 Keith and Liz dropped in to see how things were going, and what else needed doing. He reported that, now attention is being paid by outsiders the authoities have started providing supplies to the school. 3 more pics added to the gallery.

30 August - the 'topping out' ceremony - "Thursday, 29 August 2019 was a joyous day for the community of Salakutjelwa when the new toilets and preschool building were handed over to them. From the little children, who were over 100 in number, to adults who also included the leadership of the community graced the event, there was excitement!

"There were many speeches with a lot of expressions of gratitude for the generous sponsorships from different sponsors namely; Rotary Club Mbabane who sponsored the construction of the toilets with a contribution of E50,0000 and it was their contribution that started the ball rolling and convinced  Swaziland Schools Projects to take on the construction of the classrooms and then later Claypotts Trust to construct the kitchen. It was explained that the other Neighbourhood Care Points and preschools in the area were too far for the little children to walk to and therefore would miss out on that one meal and educational stimulation and now that has changed. The community now even dreams of having a primary school built in the near future. Representatives from Swaziland Schools Projects Mr. Simelane and Mr. Vriend also made a few remarks, encouraging the community to take care of the buildings they have been given, work together and ensure that the children receive the gift of early learning by supporting those who have been chosen to teach at the preschool and who have already started receiving training which is also sponsored by SSP.

"After the official handover of the buildings to the community leadership representative and school committee chairperson, Mr. Simelane encouraged the community members to contribute towards developing the project, such as connecting electricity and other projects by using a symbolic old tradition of emaSwati called Sivivane, which is a pile of stones which is created by everyone contributing by bringing stones to the pile and at the same time contributing money, which will be used to open a bank account for a fund to do their projects.

"It was also announced how much was spent to build the preschool classes and the toilets, which is well in access of half a million Emalangeni and they were further informed that the construction of kitchen that is sponsored by Claypotts Trust is already under construction so that the women will no longer cook under the tree. It is also worth noting that it is because of the construction of the toilets that they now receive food from  World Food Program to cook for the orphaned and vulnerable children.

"The interns from Mbabane Chapel were also present to witness this wonderful occasion and learnt some old traditions.

"More thanks to SSP for the sweets, juice and sandwiches provided."

"The group photo in front of the building shows SSP members Ton Vriend (the only white man) and Mphaya Johannes Simelane (back row with sunglasses)."

14 August - "Last week I informed HW Glassworks Managing Director that we had chosen his company to do glazing at Salakutjelwa classrooms building.  Today I visited Salakutjelwa to verify if they went to site and how they were managing.  I found them fitting windowpanes and painters were about to finish painting the building and the electrician was completing his work. See attached pictures.  

"I found community members digging kitchen foundations."

26 July - A few more pictures for you, with some of the children checking out the new classroom.

11 July - "My visit to Salakutjelwa NCP today was heartening.  I had gone to assess progress on construction of classrooms block. Builders had finished fitting windowsills, ventilators and revealing doors and windows.  Tomorrow they will start doing floor-screeds; so, I helped them to transport cement from where they stay to a homestead closer to site.  Water in the tank was nearly finished, thus, I requested Nkosingiphile to deliver some tomorrow. When they finish the floor, painting and glazing should commence. 

"It was encouraging to see the construction reach completion. I found excited women serving food to children.  They told me that World Food Program (WFP) supplied the food.  I assumed that building the toilets for children at the NCP enticed WFP to supply the food.  

"Attached herewith are pictures of the building, children and ladies who care for them".

Mphaya Johannes

1 July - The builders have finished electric wiring and fitting ceiling. This week they will fit windowsills and finish the floors. Next week they should start painting and glazing.

10 June - "Today I visited Salakutjelwa NCP to assess construction progress. Builders had finished plastering inside walls; they were plastering the outside walls.  See attached pictures. They should complete plastering this week and next week they ought to fit window frames and finish the floor.

"Water was almost finished in the tank.  I requested Nkhosingiphile send his tanker replenish the tank, which will cost E500.00.

"I will obtain cost of ceiling material and labour and give Ton, to advise if we should install ceiling in the building."


21 May - "I attach pictures of the building at Salakutjelwa taken on 15 and 20 May 2019. Roofing is almost finished.  During my visit, builders were sifting plaster sand. Tomorrow they will start plastering.  There is one picture showing two people standing by bins of storing sorghum.  Denise and Eric gave us those bins and I collected them from their recycling factory.  

"During the farming season, we used funds to purchased seed and fertilisers for community members in order to cultivate sorghum which they have since harvested and shelled. The sorghum will provide food for NCP children. We hope that the community members will grow more sorghum next season, since they have noticed that sorghum is drought resistant"

Mphaya Johannes Simelane

3 May - On Friday I visited construction site at Salakutjelwa to assess roofing of the classrooms block.  I was pleased with work done.  The carpenter had finished fitting timber of the roof and waiting for builders to beam-fill before fixing iron sheets on the roof.  Attached pictures show the stage of construction.


25 April - More pics, showing that the block work on the new classrooms is now complete. Rofing work starts on Monday 29th.

22 March - Another update from Johannes - "Today I visited Salakutjelwa to assess progress in construction of toilets structure and classrooms block. I was pleased with work done. They had started painting the toilets building as you could see in the attached pictures. I found workers laying blocks on the classrooms building. See attached pictures."

13 March - A few more pics of current progress have been loaded to the carousel. The toilets are nearly finished and the classroom block is well under way after community members dug the foundations.

12 to 20 February - Keith and Liz took a 10-day, flying visit to check on progress. Some further pictures are on the carousel on this page.

31 January - More, from Johannes, "Last week (31st January) I visited Salakutjelwa to verify the stage of toilet construction. This week I will purchase toilet seats and deliver them at the site. The toilet building will have a verandah. In a fortnight they should start building classrooms block."

24 January 2019 - An update from Johannes, KF's 'man on the ground' - "Today I delivered roofing material for the toilets building at Salakutjelwa (Gundvwini).  Builders finished building wall today.  They will roof it on Friday. At Forbes Reef Primary School, we collected left over building material to roof the toilets building at Salakutjelwa.  Consequently, we are spending less on roofing material. I used my Isuzu bakkie to transport the material from Forbes Reef to Salakutjelwa. See attached pictures. Pictures of the toilets building are also attached herewith.

"When this building is finished, the builders will start digging foundation of classrooms block."

12 December 2018 - Keith Fossey has received a report from the 'man on the ground' who writes, "BuildIt has delivered cement blocks, cement, brick-force, doors for the toilets and water tank,  Mr. Dlamini from Salakutjelwa delivered river sand and plaster sand. I have attached some pictures of material delivered. I will take more pictures tomorrow. Builders are waiting for water before they start building the toilet.  Community ladies will fetch water from the pond to the site tomorrow. I will be with them in the morning to assess the amount of water that will be delivered by the ladies. If it is not enough for builders to do their work, I will recommend hiring a tanker."

Keith says "It's great that this urgent need is being progressed so quickly. I have still no idea where this place is but will find it when I'm there next....I hope!"

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