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Why am I staying in Swaziland?

Why I decided to stay in Swaziland

I was dreading this, and, in true Megan style, delayed writing as long as I could! Why do I want to stay volunteering with Manzini Youth Care? Should be an easy question, surely? It was my idea and my decision so why? The magic created by Manzini Youth Care is so amazing, it sucks you in.megan-swaz

After spending a couple of months working with the Salesians in Swaziland, I began to think seriously about extending my service by a year. My family and friends were reluctant at first and thought I was crazy, “What about university?” was the main reaction I received. I knew that spending a longer period of time out in Swaziland would affect my studies, but I also knew that I could learn a lot in Swaziland and have an amazing experience. I was also wholly aware that the boys in our care desperately need structure and familiarity in their lives, and volunteers flitting in and out all the time wouldn’t be the best for them. I am lucky to be in the position that I could extend my stay, allowing me to properly develop relationships with the boys and enjoy my time there. Watching the boys develop and grow over a year is a really exciting prospect for me. I feel as I learn more about the culture and the boys’ experiences, I’ll be able to offer more to the project.

Fundraising in the UK

I wanted to do something while I was home  to raise some money for the boys at MYC. I thought of what the boys could use, and blankets was one of the first things that came to mind. It’s the type of thing that people don’t see as a necessity, due to the stereotypical imagery of Africa being sunshine and blistering heat, so what’s the need for blankets? But as soon as the sun goes down, or even behind the clouds, in the winter months, blankets and coats are a must if you’re going to stay warm and healthy. I thought if I could raise enough specifically for blankets, it’d maker this winter a little bit better for the boys.megsy-swaz

I approached my Parish Priest, Fr Michael Cooke, and asked if I could do an appeal at Church to raise some money. He was very happy to allow me to do it and so I made a pulpit appeal, with a second collection, at two masses this weekend. The response was amazing – altogether I raised £1002.01!! I’ll be able to buy enough blankets for all the boys and have money left over to go towards something else.

I’d like to express my thanks and appreciation to all at St John’s Parish in Bromley Cross and to Fr Michael Cooke for allowing me to make the appeal.