Loved like Family

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Nokuphila, a seven-year-old girl living in Swaziland, is being cared for by volunteers from the local church Kaphunga, Swaziland

Nokuphila is seven years old and lives in an isolated, rural village in the Kaphunga area of Swaziland. This desperately poor community struggles from a lack of clean, accessible water and, at times, impassable roads. There is also virtually no employment within the community. When Nokuphila was only 20 months old, her father passed away from an illness. Her aunt immediately moved into the home to help care for Nokuphila and her disabled mother. With no job and no income, simply surviving was a constant struggle. 

Nokuphila attends grade 2 at Kalamdladla Primary School. The distance from the village to the school makes attendance very challenging. But Nokuphila is determined, walking five kilometres each way to school every day. When she returns home in the evening she must then complete her chores and any remaining time is devoted to homework before she can lay her head to rest, exhausted by her day and the weight of her responsibilities.

Jabulile, part of the Asondle SiveBomake volunteer Christian care group in Kaphunga, has known Nokuphila’s parents since 2006 when she started visiting patients in their homes in the community. Nokuphila has grown up receiving motherly love, care and encouragement from Jabulile and they have built a close relationship. When Nokuphila sees Jabulile, an enormous smile erupts on her face and she runs to jump into Jabulile’s open arms.

Every day Nokuphila walks home from school with joy knowing that she will stop at the Care Point where she receives a hot, nutritious meal. Nokuphila also received a school jersey and shoes at the start of the school year. But perhaps more importantly, she receives a listening ear, a patient smile, a comforting hug, and the opportunity to laugh and play with other children.

Jabulile and the other Care Workers are servant-hearted women who desire to give love to the children in their community. And because of their willingness to wait every day for the children to reach the Care Point late in the afternoon, children like Nokuphila know that they are loved like family.