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  • Karen Visser

Compelled by hope

Just a year ago, ‘hopeful’ wasn’t a word you would use to describe Sikelela and his family of 12 from eSwatini.

Who wouldn’t be struggling if you lost your job, your wife and eldest son had to suddenly find work, and you developed health problems? And then, to top it off, a lightning strike burned your house down!

A catastrophe like this naturally found Sikelela and his family losing hope. The children were struggling to keep up at school and the family found themselves stuck in a downward spiral.

Our partners, Operation Hope Swaziland (OHS), began working with the family to empower them for the long-term.

The first thing was to ensure they had what they needed in the short term through the ‘Mealie Meal’ food program. This program delivers monthly food supplies made up of mealie meal (milled corn), oil, sugar, beans, eggs, vegetables, soup mix and soap. The rations supplement what a family already has, while we work alongside them to find more sustainable solutions.

Sikelela's family home before the building project

Once that was set in place, it soon became clear that the best long-term solution for Sikelela and his family was secure housing. This would provide a base for them to flourish and reconnect with their community.

Before the house was even finished, Sikelela, his wife and his son all found temporary employment. The hope and dignity started to bring transformation to their lives.

And it reached further than just Sikelela and his family: it was felt by the whole community. By employing local people in the construction process, everyone in the community benefited from the project, along with the family receiving the home.

The total cost of this project was about $8,000. We think this is such fantastic ‘value’ for money, knowing of course, that hope and dignity are priceless!

Dignity. Working together. Hope. The wonderful story of Sikelela and his family is a fantastic example of what happens when people come together to empower each other.

Compelled By Love is supporting more building projects due to begin in the next six months. Your help makes a difference. If you’d like to get involved, please contact us, or you can donate directly to housing projects here.

In progress

Walls up



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