Bulembu (Photo Diary)
Reunited with Bow Wow we made for recently revived Bulembu, once an asbestos mining town and now home to over two hundred AIDS orphans.
Bulembu is a ghost town given a second life high in the emerald hills of Northwest Swaziland. Here you can see part of the aerial cableway that used to transport the asbestos to a town in South Africa over 20km away.
Wrapped up warm and having Sunday School lessons outside. Bulembu is home to over two hundred children who have lost their parents to AIDS.
Well turned out but late for church!
Bow Wow leads the way.
When asbestos products were discovered to be carcinogenic, the mine closed and those still well enough abandoned the town in search of work elsewhere.
A Christian organisation bought Bulembu in 2006 and utilizing the infrastructure already established by the mining industry, they have set up new industries generating products like timber, honey and water.
Slowly people have returned and the old mining cottages are full of life again.
Like giant Lego blocks scattered on the hillside.
It is estimated that 38% of Swazis are infected with the HIV virus and because of this, Swaziland is the only developing country in the world experiencing a decline in population growth.
An entire generation has been wiped out leaving thousands of vulnerable children to fend for themselves.
Presently, there are over two hundred orphans benefiting from this initiative, many of them Bulembu babies under four years old.
Unexpected and stimulating colour combinations...
...textures and juxtapositions.
The towering asbestos dumps still remain and made us wonder how safe it is to live alongside this toxic substance.
So glad to be together again.
A Bulembu baby.
Bulembu Vision: Restore Bulembu to a vibrant, self sustaining community by the year 2020. This vision for sustainability includes fostering the development of a new generation of emerging leaders through orphan care, education, health services and commerce.