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Preparing to build a community kitchen


Matjana Preschool recently received approval for funding to build a community kitchen and garden, which will provide meals to the community's orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as school meals for Matjana Preschool Children. The funding will be provided through the US Ambassadors Community Grants for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children.

Members of the school committee and broader community are making preparations to start building the kitchen and garden. The aim is to begin serving meals early in 2012. 'We have started preparations and expect to receive the funding in the next two weeks,' Ncobile Mbonane, Matjana's head teacher and coordinator of the kitchen grant said. 'We're about to finish building our classroom and it's been a lot of work. But we are ready to take on a new project because we see the need in our community.

'There are many children living in Ndabeni who do not have parents or who are poor and don't get enough food. Even some of the preschool students don't eat enough and it has been hard to fix that problem without a kitcheb. We hope the new kitchen will help all the children in our area to eat properly, every day,' Ncobile said.

A one day workshop for play-based learning and other skills at Matjana Preschool

posted 29 May 2013, 04:36 by Fortunate Sihlongonyane

A one day workshop for play based learning and other skills at Matjana Preschool

Matjana Preschool is hosting a workshop for Swazi preschool teachers around Kaphunga, Swaziland. It will cover learning on play-based learning, how to teach children right and wrong without hitting them and ideas in art activities to be carried in preschool level.

This workshop will benefit the local preschool teachers and primary school teachers in the lower grades. Matjana Preschool is uniting teachers in the rural area, not that it should always be on town to host a workshop. It also uniting Swazi Preschool teachers with Australian preschool teachers who will be visiting Swaziland for a week, that is why the school is having the worshop so as to share ideas with teachers outside the country.

Here is a leaflet attached to see what will be happening on the day.


What's cooking in the kitchen?

posted 29 May 2013, 04:32 by Fortunate Sihlongonyane   [ updated 29 May 2013, 04:33 ]

Please see our SPECIAL FUNDRAINSING APPEAL- can you help?

The answer Matjana Preschool would like to give to the question "What's cooking in the kitchen?" is "porridge, beans and veges." Unfortunately that's not the case.
The preschool community worked hard to get the kitchen constructed and were expecting to receive food to serve from it from non-governmental organisations in Swaziland (e.g. UNICEF, World Food Program). When we initially enquired about the food, we were told that we were eligible, but needed to finish the kitchen before we could apply. We did that and made an application for food in May. We were told that the school had been registered and would receive food next time it was delivered. However Matjana and many other community kitchens in the country are still waiting for food. We have been told that the food is in Swaziland but cannot be delivered yet because of logistical difficulties.

To make matters worse we have recently been informed that Matjana Preschool and Neighbourhood Care Point has not even been registered. We are now trying to organise to get registered and ensure we are on the list of food recipients for the next delivery. We are determined to open the kitchen next year and ensure the children in our are guaranteed healthy meals every day.

Moving to the new classroom

posted 13 Jan 2012, 02:35 by Michelle Brear

For five years Matjana preschool have been dreaming of having their own, brick classroom big enough to accommodate all the kids in the area ready to start PRESCHOOL. And the moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived!

Kids of Matjana preschool moved to the new building in November 2011. They were so happy, that they even volunteered to move the chairs, desks, and other stuff to the new classroom. This is normally done by parents. You could think they would become tired along the way but surprisingly they left their teachers to find them waiting outside. Their eagerness was to learn in the new class, let alone graduate in it.

Teachers had to be very careful. The kids wanted to prove their strength by carrying heavy loads. There was also shouting and yelling a lot. All was successful because we finally make to the new building.

School's back for 2012

posted 13 Jan 2012, 02:34 by Michelle Brear   [ updated 1 Feb 2012, 13:41 ]

Matjana Preschool began the 2012 school year on January 24. It's the sixth class of students we'll be enrolling and we're happy to be starting in a brand new classroom. So far 24 children aged four and five years old have enrolled, but we're hoping to find some more students. We have started the new in our, improved and much larger classroom. There are places for 30 children and we want to fill them all.

There's also a lot of space in the new classroom that we're hoping to fill up with book, toys, art supplies and much more. "We've been squeezed in for so many years that it's hard to know what to do with all the space," said teacher Fortunate. "But I know we'll do good things in it."

Untitled Post

posted 22 Nov 2011, 08:19 by Michelle Brear   [ updated 22 Nov 2011, 08:19 ]

Thanks for Granny Backpacker in Africa

posted 22 Nov 2011, 08:18 by Michelle Brear   [ updated 22 Nov 2011, 08:20 ]

Granny Basia Meder just sent Matjana Preschool a copy of her award winning book, Granny Backpacker in Africa. It details her 14 month journey through 21 African countries, including Swaziland.

Basia visited the Ndabeni area of Kaphunga in 2002, before Matjana Preschool was established. She visited local homesteads and the school with Woza Nawe tours and attended the unhlanga (reed dance) ceremony.

The book also setails her experience in 20 other African countries. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs taken on the journey. We're sure our students and other members of the community will enjoy looking at the pictures and hearing about Basia's experiences, in Swaziland and other African countries. 

US Embassy delegation visit

posted 23 Oct 2011, 02:20 by Michelle Brear

A delegation from the US embassy visited Matjana  Preschool to assess whether or not the school was an appropriate organisation to receive a US Ambassadors Community Grant for Vulnerable Children. We have requested about 80,000 rands under this grant scheme.

The preschool submitted an application for the funding in March this year, requesting money to build a kitchen which would serve the school students and children in the Ndabeni community. The project would also involve establishing a garden to supply fruit and vegetables for the kitchen. For more details see the
full grant application

Organisations applying for the grant must be run by community members and have previous experience with a similar project. Our experience managing a school, and (almost) building a classroom will hopefully serve us well. And we're very confident that our community kitchen project will fulfil the aim of the grant, that is provide a very necessary resource for the vulnerable children of Ndabeni area.

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