– Luvatsi (Kingdom of Eswatini) –

In one of the poorest countries in Africa, Swaziland, food and specific healthcare is provided structurally for many hundreds of children in poor rural areas. The project aimed to provide them a daily healthy meal, to motivate them to come to school and thus to give them a better chance in life.

Luvatsi is an organisation of young Swazi professionals and university students working for the most disadvantaged children in their country. Luvatsi means ‘spark’: they want to give children a ray of hope and permanently improve their living conditions.

Swaziland is an old kingdom where the local culture and traditions are still very much alive. Political and military intervention by the South African apartheid regime in 1986 led to the country falling into the hands of a self-serving regime that violates elementary social and democratic rights. Education and healthcare are neglected and the regime spends the few resources and European support mainly on prestigious projects.

In rural areas, where the majority of the population lives, there is enormous poverty. There are many orphans of parents who died from AIDS and other children who lack even the bare necessities.

Luvatsi wants to improve their living conditions and their opportunities in a way that fits in their culture. This is achieved by planting orchards around primary schools, so that the orphans are encouraged to come to school where they will be fed healthy food. The trees are fast-growing local varieties that start to bear fruit after just one year.

The project also wants to tackle the problem of girls who stop going to school once they start menstruating, especially poor girls without parents who cannot afford modern means. The idea is to teach the girls to make their own sanitary towels in various training sessions.

In order to make Luvatsi self-sufficient in developing school orchards, the Fund financed the creation of its own tree nursery.

The Joseph Schepers – Germaine Lijnen Fund had granted Luvatsi financial support for an initial period of three years, but the impact of the project led the trustees to decide its continuation and the financing of modern school kitchens, for the concrete improvement of the living conditions of the children who now receive every day a health meal at school.

Six schools have been successfully planted with 150 fruit trees each, with varieties such as mangos, litchis, oranges, paw-paw and nantjies, at the Ntfonjeni High School, Dvudvusini High School, Dwalile High School, Sigcineni Primary School and Mkhuzweni High School and the Emagobodvo High School. The survival rate of these trees are at 100% thanks to the technical support from an agronomist.

Schoolchildren of Emagobodvo High School.

Luvatsi staff inspecting the rapid growth after one year.

Luvatsi staff, the director and teachers of the Emagobodvo High School, the expert of the University Agriculture Centre, together with Belgian supporters of the Fund, inspecting the first field ready for planting.

The tree nursery developed this year and which allows Luvatsi self-reliance for further similar projects.

The new school kitchen, example of the Emagobodvo school.

If you wish to offer additional support for this project, please transfer to this account:

King Badouin Foundation
J. Schepers-G. Lijnen
IBAN BE 10 0000 0000 0404
Structured code: ***015/0600/00132***