Healthy Pro-Active Living
The Healthy Pro-active Living Program is a new initiative at Moya. Yet, it encompasses a way of life we have been promoting for years. This program includes agricultural initiatives along with life skills education and financial planning. The goal is the give our beneficiaries the knowledge and tools to build a healthy life where they can sustain themselves.
The transition from food provision to food production is necessary in order for the community to thrive on it’s own, without outside resources. We want to get to a place where food parcels are not necessary, as families are growing their own in their gardens. And we are well on our way with our agricultural initiatives for our beneficiaries as well as for Moya Centre.
We want our youth beneficiaries to be prepared to live a full and healthy life. Our youth clubs teach them a variety of life skills that prepare them for adulthood, and the decisions they will have to make in their future.
Our savings schemes allow Moya caregivers and staff to learn valuable skills on financial literacy and saving, stepping away from poverty and subsistence purchasing.
This program is just beginning, and there is great potential for growth of projects in the future. We are very excited to promote a healthy lifestyle by pro-active means to out beneficiaries. Stay tuned for updates!
To ensure food security for our Sponsored Children, Moya reconnected with its sister CBO, Guba, the only permaculture organization in Swaziland for the purpose of creating more food security gardens in the area. In 2018, two staff members and four Caregivers graduated from Guba’s intensive Growing Resilient Communities (GRC) course. This achievement sets us in a better position to tackle the problem of nutrition and food security; it also gives us a solid base to grow the capacity of our Caregivers and the children they look after to form a sustainable solution to food security. In the greater Lobamba Lomdzala there are now 34 Caregivers either running or in the process of building their own garden which collectively feed 246 children in the community every day. The gardens serve as a focal point in the relationship between the Caregivers and their children. What occurs is a mix of Social Connectedness and increased food security. Our gardens provide a large variety of fresh fruits, vitamin packed vegetables, and eleven kinds of herbs.
From there, we have started a new initiative for 2019: Door-Sized Gardens. All of our sponsored children have been mandated to build a small garden that they are responsible for on their homestead. This is the only mandatory activity to receive a sponsorship from Moya Centre(aside from passing school and living within our catchment area), with the goal of creating resiliency and self-sustainability for these students. To grow one’s own food is to fulfill a basic necessity in life. The students began building the gardens in November and December of last year, and for some, the results are already noticeable as green veggies have become a staple in their diet, a healthy addition to each meal.
Moya Centre started the Youth Clubs in 2015 that focused on Primary and Secondary School aged youth that wanted a safe and open place to socialize with their peers under the watchful eye of a supportive Caregiver. Currently there are seven Youth Clubs scattered over the greater Lobamba Lomdzala area that serve children ranging from ages 7 to 14. Caregivers at Youth Clubs meet twice weekly and lead children in discussions involving increasing their capacities with life skills, sexual reproductive health, substance abuse, human trafficking, and other necessary topics for daily life in Swaziland. The Caregivers teach valuable skills through open discussions on matters that these children might not get elsewhere.
Food Security: Provision-Protection-Production
Moya Centre Kitchen
We have our own kitchen that we use to cook nutritious meals for all the children of the Preschools and Kids Clubs in the area. Our cook Nana makes lunch for the three Preschools Monday through Friday and a meal once a week for the Kids Clubs of Mavis and Luphahleni. The meals are either mixed vegetable stew or beans served with rice. Nana also prepares fifty liters of the traditional fermented corn drink emahewu every day for the children of the Afternoon Club. Emahewu is made of mealie meal, water, and sugar to provide a filling and invigorating drink for the children that come study at the Afternoon Club. Seasonal greens, cabbages, carrots, onions, green peppers, and tomatoes in the mixed vegetable stew are provided by the Moya Centre Garden and is usually eaten by the very same children that watered and harvested the vegetables. The Moya Centre also receives generous donations from Woolworth’s two/three times monthly which is used in the preparation of meals in the Kitchen when they are available.
Moya Centre Garden
The Moya Centre Garden was started in 2015. What was once a small collection of tomato plants along one fence in the corner of the Moya Centre has turned into twelve square meters of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Our garden is a perfect example of permaculture with its natural water collection, efficient design, inter-cropping, and a small seed resource centre. Masoka started working by himself until he enlisted the help of a Grade 1 student who Masoka put in charge of water, planting, and cleaning the garden. Today, the garden is chiefly maintained by Grade1 and Grade 2 Primary school students. The food grown here is prepared in the Moya Centre Kitchen and provides food for the three Preschools the Moya Centre is affiliated with in the area. There is even enough produce to provide healthy snacks for the students who helped grow the garden, too!
Savings Scheme Micro Entrepreneurship And Financial Literacy
Savings schemes are a safe and appropriate alternative to the rather expensive bank loan option or using spare funds to slowly accumulate building materials. FHI360 initiated the savings scheme protocol and assisted with the schemes constitution. Moya Centre hosts two Saving Schemes under the direction of Carol that have 24 members each and include staff members and Caregivers that meet once a month to discuss financial literacy and financial goal keeping. Started in September 2016 and ending in November 2017, members buy shares of the Savings Scheme for 50E a share. The group then decides who to loan money out to for their various projects. Those members taking a loan from the Savings Scheme then pay back what they borrowed plus the 10% interest agreed upon by the group and eventually the shared money grows to a substantial amount. This year the Savings Scheme was disbanded and everyone who initially bought a share received an E 24.9 increased return per share. Through the explanation and implementation of the Saving Scheme along with the monthly meetings those in the Savings Scheme learn valuable skills on financial literacy such as money management, the benefit of saving, setting financial goals, and being able to better pull themselves out of poverty instead of focusing on subsistence purchasing.