DAY1/PACT/MAGELE COMMUNITY/NEW WARM SCHOOL
An eventful first day started with a visit to PACT’s offices to meet our hosts for the week, Dulami Dalu and Letho, who would accompany us every day on our field visits for the rest of the week. We were then introduced to SWAGGA (Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse), an organization supported by PACT, the only NGO in Swaziland to provide services focuses on addressing gender-based violence in the country.SWAGGA acts as the only counseling and support hot-line in Swaziland.
An hours drive took us to the rural Magele community where women empower themselves through producing and selling Vaseline, shoe polish, dish washing liquid. SWAGGA helps these women (of whom a large number are abused) to develop a good self esteem, and to provide a platform for them to share issues that concern them. Raymond, the facilitator, further empowers these women by educating them about HIV/AIDS. The Magele women break up in small groups of 15 to produce and sell their products.
We have noticed that all brochures, posters and communication looks the same and is very poorly designed. Cliche generic design seems to be problem facing all NGO’S around the world.As part of our feedback report we will be suggesting a student design project where by South African design students can be given these brochures to redesign as part of there school curriculum. The brochures,posters and radio are the only form of communication that SWAGGA have,and are a vital part in raising awareness amongst the community.
Raymond the facilitator.
Two of the women then showed us to where they produce their products, on the school grounds of “New Warm” Primary which is situated at the top of a hill with a breathtaking view of the entire community scattered amongst the rolling hills. We visited some of the classes,which have over 50 kids in each,most of whom have there only daily meal at school. When we walked into the class the children lit up and began to sing songs for us. It was at that moment that we realized Write on Africa needs to do a rural school mural campaign where by we can bring colour into their environment,distribute basic art supplies,facilitate creative art workshops and offer some training to the teachers to carry this on.
Currently the kids do not play with colour or creativity very much.