HARVEST FESTIVAL Sunday, 20 October 2013. Our Harvest Festival is a time for giving thanks, and is a major fundraiser for our Sharing Projects. THANK YOU to all who brought items for our auction, who bid upon and purchased items, and who brought food.
Auction sales combined with additional contributions resulted in CHF 13,506
Our 2013 Harvest Festival will support two sharing projects
Waiting Hearts – Kulindza tinhlitiyo was established to improve maternal and child health by providing a clean and healthy environment, a waiting hut, for mothers who live at long distance from the hospital and therefore might not get to maternity on time to deliver. They can stay in a special small house next to the hospital called a “waiting hut” to wait for their approaching delivery. The waiting hut also serves as a place for counseling and educating mothers on maternal and child health.
Located in Swaziland’s Manzini District through joint cooperation of the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital and the Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, Swaziland Nazarene Health Institutions (SNHI) is made up of Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM), Community Health Services Clinics, and the Nazarene College of Nursing. The RFM Hospital is a non-profit institution founded in 1926 by the Church of the Nazarene to provide emergency medical and health services. It has expanded over the years and now serves as referral hospital for 17 regional clinics and as a teaching hospital for the College of Nursing. Overall, the SNHI provide primary, secondary and tertiary health care services to the poorest members of the community in Manzini district.
The existing waiting hut has badly deteriorated and therefore is neither healthy nor attractive to the mothers-to-be and their families. Now the Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, together with RFM Hospital and some international volunteers have taken on the renovation. The proceeds from the Harvest Festival will support the renovation of the waiting hut as well as the health education programs offered there to pregnant women. If you’re on Facebook, see <https://www.facebook.com/groups/168922059954840/>
China High School Scholarship Program The Chinese government provides tuition-free compulsory education for primary and middle school. High school education is not included in the government program and the fees are often prohibitive for rural families. High schools in China are centralized. This allows schools to gather more students and a larger teacher population to support the schools. High schools are predominantly boarding schools and often have more than 1,000 students who board at the school. Tuition, board and book fees cost around USD 400 per year. This is over 60% of an average income for one year of a family in rural areas.
All grade 9 middle school students take a test to determine whether they can enter high school. For those who are accepted into the top high school, it is a great honor and opportunity for life. Rural families whose children achieve this honor are particularly torn when they are weighing the desire for their child to continue schooling versus the need to support the family. Some families choose for their child, especially daughters, to stay at home and help farm. Other families, who decide to send their child, can only do so by incurring high-interest loans which can become an insurmountable economic burden for the family and the high school student.
The Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF) is a Hong-Kong based non-profit organization founded by Lutheran Christians and dedicated to improving the lives of rural communities in Asia through education and service. They partner with local communities, organizations and local governments to identify communities mostly affected by poverty and implement programs in the areas of education and community health. As such, CWEF provides high schools scholarships. Applications are reviewed based on family financial situation, test results and assessment of student’s desire to continue studies into college. The majority of sponsored students are female.
Our ELCG contribution through the proceeds of the Harvest Festival will support the scholarship of four (2 women, 2 men) students from rural families in China’s Yunnan and Guandong provinces to finish the three-year high school education. CWEF will match our church’s contribution to provide another four (4) high school scholarships.