By Phephile Motau
A total of 24 259 emaSwati have saved about E17.8 million under the World Vision Eswatini savings group.
This is according to World Vision Eswatini Annual Report 2022. The goal of the savings group is to break the cycle of poverty for most vulnerable households by strengthening families’ capacity to provide well for 109 000 vulnerable children by 2025.
The report states that in improving the livelihood of vulnerable families, the organisation facilitated financial inclusion, the establishment of income adequacy, and the promotion of food security initiatives for the families to provide well for their children.
It was reported that during this reporting period, the savings group portfolio increased by 17 per cent compared to the financial year 2021, with 24 259 members compared to 20 736 in the previous year. The organisation said additionally, total savings increased by 21.5 per cent from about E14.6 million (US$860 647) in the financial year 2021 to about E17.8 million (US$1 045 683) in the financial year 2022.
Eliminating New Infections
“Moreover, the number of groups using the digital ledger (DreamSave) increased by two per cent,” the organisation reported. Meanwhile, the report states that under Health, Nutrition and HIV the goal is to contribute towards the elimination of new infections and improve the health and nutritional status of 122 000 vulnerable children (0-18 years) and women of childbearing age by 2025.
“In an effort to contribute towards the elimination of new infections, improving health and nutritional status of children (0-18) and women of childbearing age, the organisation has been able to achieve all set targets,” the report said.
The organisation reported that the total committed funding for the year ended September 30, 2022, was about E364 million (US$21.424) million compared to E438.6 million (US$25.871 million) in the financial year when the new strategy cycle started. The slight decrease in funding received was mainly attributed to a decline in Gifts-in-Kind, as well as a reduction in grants responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was reported that the HEA team reached 15 constituencies with food aid/cash in the form of food-for-asset/work and conditional cash-based transfers.
This was achieved through collaboration and the support of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA); World Vision Taiwan (food-for-asset); ICDF Taiwan (cash transfers to pregnant women for food and transport fare for antenatal care (ANC) visits; as well as World Food Programme (WFP) (general food programme).
Over 11 000 supported to start businesses
World Vision Eswatini has supported a total of 11 615 households to start small businesses. The report states that the value chains promoted were honey production, beef, piggery, goat production, vegetable production, and various non-agricultural business enterprises.
The organisation said in collaboration with government ministries, SEDCO, and Lulote, a total of 5 736 small business owners were enrolled in the business coaching and mentorship programme.
“Furthermore, a total of 8 064 households were empowered with improved sustainable and climate-smart agriculture techniques in crop/ vegetable and livestock production,” the report states.
Giving an example of one of their project, World Vision said Sesikhulile Multipurpose Co-operative had a vision, which was to find ways to curb unemployment in their community and help provide for their children.
Lending A Helping Hand
“After coming together to establish a garden project, the group of 10 members then approached World Vision Eswatini in 2019 for help,” the report states.
World Vision donated fencing, seedlings (as well as nursery equipment) and irrigation system equipment. This enabled the group to officially start producing vegetables (tomatoes, green mealies, as well as plant fruit trees in 2021.
Many children help out in the garden; either weeding, harvesting or planting new seedlings, and anything they can do to help their caregivers.
The cooperative has members from all walks of life; from unemployed college graduates to young and old adults, as well as community members with no academic qualifications but a strong determination to improve their lives.
The organisation said with a stable market at the National Marketing Board (NAMBoard), which collects the produce from the garden premises, as well as local buyers, the Cooperative gives each of the 10 members approximately E8 000 a month, which they can use to cater for their children’s needs.