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Volume 6 Edition 10 (pdf)

Meet the Matjana kids

Matjana accomodation for a five star experience

Fundraising update
Meet the Matjana kids

This is Bongiswa Shabangu (it means 'give thanks with us' in siSwati).

His favourite activity at school is writing.

His favourite food is Emasi (sour milk).

When he grows up he wants to be a soldier

The teacher's say: 'Bongiswa is a soft guy who makes a lot of friends during play.'



This is Junaid Makhubula (it means 'a blessing' in siSwati).

Her favourite activity at school is playing with toys or blocks.

Her favourite foods are cheese and eggs.

When she grows up she wants to be a nurse

The teachers say 'She is funny and active especially in dancing.'


This is Nomvuyo Sikhondze (it mean's what we gained/benefitted in siSwati).

Her favourite activity at school is singing songs.

Her favourite food is fat cakes

When she grows up she wants to be a teacher

The teachers say 'Indeed a teacher to be. What a caring lady.'



Matjana accommodation for a five-star volunteer experience

The issue of accommodation for Matjana teachers and visitors has been on the agenda for a while now. But the classroom and kitchen were priorities and building a hut for accommodation is one of many things that needed to wait a while. Luckily our teachers are all from the local area and their homes are close enough to the school that teacher’s accommodation was never a necessity.

However Matjana has enjoyed many visits from volunteers who drive out for the day or come for a cultural tour with Woza Nawe Tour Company. We’ve wanted to make it easier for volunteers to come and stay at the school, for longer periods of time, and we’re hoping the new hut will help us do that. It will also mean volunteers and tourists have the option of supporting the school directly.


Members of Ndabeni community built the hut and building materials like the corrugated iron and window frames were donated by a volunteer who would like to stay in the hut from time to time for the next couple of years. It’s not exactly five-star accommodation, but we suspect that the kind of people who are interested volunteering at and visiting Matjana Preschool, are more interested in getting a feel for life in rural Swaziland than they are in having a fancy bathroom and room service.


And, even without running water and other mod cons, a five-star experience, we can guarantee. There will be no  concierge to welcome volunteers to the humble abode, but we’ll be able to provide the best information on the local area and Swazi culture and a very interactive, hands-on volunteering experience.  Our teachers and parents welcome volunteers and provide opportunities for them to get involved in the day to day life of the preschool. For example people who have visited us over the years have helped prepare lessons and been actively involved in teaching.

As we prepare to open our kitchen, we know there will be even more opportunities for volunteers, to help cook and serve the meals and interact with the children. We’ve received only positive feedback from the volunteers and visitors we’ve welcomed in the past and you can read more about them on our website https://sites.google.com/a/matjanapreschool.org/www/support/volunteer.


We realise that when you want to get volunteers to rural Swaziland, it’s not necessarily a case of ‘build it and they will come’. We have a lot of work to do to promote the preschool to people who would like to be volunteers, and make the arrangements directly with the preschool, rather than through a tour company or agent. However like everything else at the school, we’re taking a slow and steady approach and we’re sure that in a few years’ time we’ll have spread the word and volunteers will come.

Already two volunteers have booked the school’s new accommodation. Michelle, who has volunteered at the school since the early days is conducting research for her PhD studies and wants to stay in the Ndabeni area a couple of nights a week while she is doing that. Tessa, a preschool teacher from Australia will be visiting the school in May 2013 to work in the classroom and with the teachers and has booked the hut for her stay. We’re hoping our supporters can help us spread the word and let people know that Matjana welcomes volunteers.

Fundraising update

This month we are happy to receive a donation of R25 000 from one friend of Matjana preschool, from the Blue Mountains in Australia. The school is over the moon to receive such a huge donation.

This money will help the school to finish up the projects the school started this year. These Projects include the garden and we will buy the seedlings, seeds and a hose pipe. We will also wire our classroom and kitchen for electricity, purchase doors for toilets and kitchen utensils. R10 000 will be saved to pay the staff working in Matjana school.

All donations are welcomed to keep the school running. We look forward to Christmas donations as we are about to celebrate it. If you are looking for a good cause to support this Christmas money can be deposited into one of the following accounts:


                                                   Swaziland                           Australia

Bank                                           Standard Bank          The Community Mutual Group

Account Name:                         Matjana Preschool      Friends of Matjana                                                                                 Preschool             

Account Number:               0140078375401         719585

Bank SWIFT code:              BICSZMX                  -

BSB Number:                            66056441               932000