We’re finally back in Justicia after 3 long years due to Covid-19. We were supposed to be back in April this year, but had to cancel when we tested positive for the corona virus.
There have been some very difficult years which unfortunately destroyed a lot. The tourists disappeared and the lodges had to close. The employees were sent home without pay and life became worse than ever before.
We completely lost control of NOSA and therefore had to close the sewing project. Welding had to quit as we no longer had any projects.
This time it was Melanie and I who traveled, and the excitement was great.
Welding came and met us for dinner on the first day.
The next day we met Mishack and Andy. These boys have gone to school together in Justicia and NOSA has been helping them for many years. It was wonderful to meet them again.
Mishack became a qualified guide from Eco Training in December 2019. He got a job at Kapama lodge, but had to quit when everything closed down.
When the tourists started to return, he was employed at Shalati (Train on the Bridge), a lodge that opened in 2020. He is now a guide there.
Andy graduated from the University of Bluemfontein in April 2022, having studied journalism for three years. It is very difficult to get a job, so now he is volunteering at Babati Primary School in Justicia for the Africa Foundation until April next year.
Babati Primary School is the school where we built a new structure with English and mathematics classrooms in 2012, and renovated the whole school in 2015.
Babati has now won an award for the cleanest school in the area and made a video:
Rektor Eunice Khosa has done an impressive job at the school.
Responsibility for NOSA’s vegetable garden was taken over by Pastor Joseph Gwebana in 2021. Volunteers from Justicia work here.
The garden for our sewing project has become very nice, it has grown a lot in three years.
Only Beauty currently works in the sewing project, but the aim is to employ more people so they can earn their own money.
This time, too, we brought children’s clothes that were distributed in the church.
60 kilos of clothes found new owners.
We visited Andy’s home. Now he is moving into the NOSA apartment above the sewing room.
Mishack now lives in Mkhuhlu, about an hour’s drive from Justicia. He got a plot as a “graduation” present. We then built a house for him close to where Welding lives with his family.
In 2019, after Mishack’s graduation, I made an album for him with, among other things, photos from his entire school year at Eco Training. Little did I know then that it would be three years before he would receive it. I had received the photos from Eco Training from a study mate who is from Germany.
Welding with the family who came to visit while we were at Mishack.
Andy was the driver, and drove us in his car.
After 4 days Mishack had to go back to work.
Eric Mzimba is a guide at Ulusaba. When Covid-19 came and the lodge closed, he cultivated a vegetable garden in Dumphries where he lives with his family.
We drilled for water for him. It was fun to see how much they now grow and how nice the vegetables were.
Nice to meet Eric’s mother again.
Andy was with us at Ulusaba on the last day.
He got to try out as a “tracker”, which was probably a bit scary.
Sipho is Eric’s “tracker”. He got clothes for his little daughter.
Three of the wonderful employees at Ulusaba; Ruel, Zodwa and Patience
Suddenly it was the end of the trip, and time to depart from Sabi Sands, Mpumalanga.
We have already planned new projects which this time contain both water and solar panels. Looking forward to the next trip!