What do we do?
Comfort for Africa is involved in a wide variety of projects aimed at alleviating suffering caused by poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Our primary initiatives are:
We also arrange annual short-term teams that visit Eswatini in June/July. Part of the ministry of those short-term teams is the loading, shipping, and distribution of clothing, medicine, and relief supplies via a 40-foot sea container.
You can read more about each of our initiatives below.
The Discipleship initiative
We believe that the backbone of community change is the local church. As such, since our inception, Comfort for Africa has partnered with the local church in Eswatini. For CFA, Discipleship means church partnership.
Some of our discipleship activities include:
- Preaching and teaching at our partner churches
- Participating in conventions and other special events in the life of our partner church
- Providing Bibles to those who cannot afford them
- Partnering with the Bible Society of Eswatini to bring their Trauma Healing Program into the church
The Education initiative
- Since we first visited Madudula in July of 2007, it has been the aim of our organization to build and maintain a mission school there.
The structure that eventually became the assembly room was started in 2008. The classroom foundations were laid by 2010. By 2013 the school opened for grades 1 to 3.
Today, BCMC Primary School is in session for grades 1 through 7. A comprehensive education is offered to combine academic studies, agricultural training and technical schooling. Presently there are 150 students enjoying the newly completed classrooms.
The Deaf initiative
- The vision for our Deaf initiative goes back to 2013, when Cathy Sander met Lungile, a woman who works at the SISEMA conference center where our team stays. Cathy approached Lunglie to talk with her, and learned that Lungile is Deaf. Immediately Cathy signed the lyrics from a song that we were teaching the children, and Lungile's face lit up in recognition and excitement. Unfortunately, Cathy knew no other sign beyond finger spelling. Nevertheless, the two managed to communicate and forged a friendship.
Upon her return to the United States, Cathy began to study American Sign Language (ASL) and when she returned to Swaziland in 2018, She and Lungile were able to have their first conversation in sign.
eSwatini has a higher than typical incidence of deafness. One reason for this is the high incidence of HIV infection, which can cause hearing loss . Another reason is that the treatment for tuberculosis, another disease prevalent in eSwatini, causes hearing loss or deafness in about a quarter of those treated .
Most deaf people are not able to communicate effectively even with their own family. Lip reading is not as effective as many hearing people would like to believe,  and few hearing people learn sign language. Thus deafness can be a very isolating condition. But it does not have to be.
The goal of our Deaf initiative is simple: we will study at the Swazi Sign Language College in Manzini and learn to communicate in sign. Once we have learned the language, we will be able to engage with the Deaf community in eSwatini and to find out from them how best to empower Deaf Swazis.
The Health initiative
There are three main prongs to CFA's Health Initiative:
- mobile medical clinics
- an orphan care point
- snake safety education and relocation
Although healthcare is available in Eswatini, many emaSwati do not receive regular treatment because of the great distances and difficulty in traveling from their villages to the towns where medical care can be obtained. Until such time as clinics are more widely distributed, a solution is the mobile medical clinic.
Since 2007, we have been taking mobile clinics to some very hard-to-reach locations, providing children and adults in those villages with an opportunity to be seen by medical professionals without needing to travel great distances.
Recently, Comfort for Africa has worked alongside the Deputy Prime Minister's office. The DPM's office identifies villages where there is great need, and Comfort for Africa responds by scheduling a clinic in those villages.
The volunteer nurses who staff our mobile clinics are the "rock stars" of our teams. People literally dance with joy when our mobile clinics come and set up in their local school or government office (or sometimes in a tent in a field or just out in the open).
In addition to the mobile clinics, Comfort for Africa assists in funding an Orphan Care Point run by a Swazi woman in the village of Fairview, near the city of Manzini. The woman who runs the care point, Collette, makes sure that the children in the village have an opportunity to receive a hot meal each day, and provides tutoring and practical arts training. A visit to "Collette's care point" is a highly anticipated part of every short-term team.
The third arm of the initiative is the snake education and relocation volunteer work. After receiving training from the Swaziland Antivenom Foundation, we are now involved with snake safety education and relocation. Eswatini is home to over 60 different species of snakes, seven of which are venomous. Teaching people how they can avoid snake bites and removing snakes from homes and business promotes health by reducing snake related injuries and deaths in our community.
The Business initiative
Comfort for Africa funds a program that gives repayable grants to entrepreneurs in Eswatini to help them to start or to grow a business.
Currently, all of the available grant money has been donated. New grants will be made available after the outstanding grants have been repaid, or when additional funds are received earmarked for the Business initiative.
Since 2007, Comfort for Africa has taken short-term teams to work in the Kingdom of eSwatini.
With much regret, we must announce that this year, due to COVID-19, the short-term team has been cancelled.
Each Spring we fill a 40′ Sea Container with relief supplies including food, clothing, coats, shoes and medical supplies. For months in advance of the ship date, dozens of volunteers in the USA collect goods donated by their generous friends, family members, business colleagues, classmates, etc . All goods are sorted, boxed and labeled for shipping. The container is then shipped to Eswatini. After a month on the ocean, the container arrives in Eswatini and its contents are distributed to those in need in the villages we visit.
This year due to COVID-19 we have been forced to delay the shipment of the Sea Container. We will update this site when we have more information about when the container will be shipped.