Matsetsa - Being bullied out of using the toilet because you are a junior learner is the norm at kaLanga Nazarene Primary School. Learners queue to use toilets in the community school, based in Matsetsa in the Mpolonjeni Area Programme (AP).
Without proper functional toilet doors, the learners have to beat stiff competition to use the toilet, while helping each other cover up the view from other passing students. This is something children should never have to face, especially in an elementary school, where they are still being supported to boost their confidence.
With all this happening, the community had to find a solution, and the only way to solve the problem is to assist the school in constructing more toilets for the children.
“Other children, especially those doing Grade 6 and 7, pull out the Grade 1s and 2s if they are in the toilets,” Noxolo, a Grade 6 student said.
The construction of the toilets has paved a way for the community to receive food parcels through the Food-for-Asset programme being implemented by World Vision Eswatini’s Humanitarian Emergency Affairs (HEA) Department, in partnership with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA). These assets constitute two 25 kilogramme bags of rice, to be shared amongst approximately 215 members of the Matsetsa community, who are assisting in the construction of the school toilet blocks.
World Vision has provided all the building material, except for the river and plaster sand, which the school procured. Duduzile Lukhele, the Headteacher of the school applauded World Vision for assisting for the school over the years.
“Besides the construction of the toilets, World Vision gave our school handwashing facilities during the peak of COVID-19. Even the current toilets that the pupils are using were constructed by World Vision some years ago,” Duduzile said.
Matsetsa is one of the driest communities in the country, therefore the Food-for-Asset programme is of crucial benefit to the participating members of the community. In recent years, this community even lost livestock due to droughts.
“We are grateful for the bags of rice that we received from World Vision as a payment for constructing the school toilets. This will go a long way in sustaining our families during these hard times,”
Hlengiwe Mthembu, one of those that received the rice after working on the community project, said.
World Vision Eswatini is providing short-term food assistance (rice from World Vision Taiwan) to ensure children and communities receive essential food and nutrients in a timely, effective manner. In return, members of the community must be engaged in a communal project.
Zakhele Dlamini, WVE’s HEA Manager, said a total of 2,231 households in seven constituencies are benefiting through World Vision Eswatini from the current cycle. These are Matsanjeni North, Lubulini, Mpolonjeni, Lugongolweni, Madlangemphisi, Lomahasha and Mhlangatane. These communities are involved in different community projects, including veld fencing, water projects, schools toilet construction, amongst others. A further eight communities are benefiting from the same 1,000 metric tonnes of rice donated by WV Taiwan through two other implementing partners.