In 2006, seventeen volunteers from various parts of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand journeyed to Swaziland, Africa with Cynthia Prime on a humanitarian mission. Alerted to the dire needs of orphans in the country, Cynthia and friends had raised funds to feed 1,000 children for one week in the area where she was to be a guest speaker at a conference. The experience was life-changing. They encountered thousands of children, many lacking even the basic needs of food, clean water and safe shelter.
On that first mission, the volunteer team distributed 17,250 meals and snacks, clothing for 11,700 orphans and children in need, and performed roughly 2,500 health examinations and treatments.
What began as a short-term humanitarian effort became much more. After that moving experience, Cynthia Prime and her ministry partner Linda Schultz co-founded the faith-based nonprofit organization that would become SOHO to help improve the quality of life and the life expectancy of orphans and vulnerable children, especially those from child headed households.
Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO) has helped over 35,000 orphans and vulnerable children since its founding, but there are thousands more in need. SOHO currently operates a multi-purpose center in Mhlosheni and the Hope Discovery Learning Center, a preschool and primary school with inclusive classes serving children with disabilities. SOHO conducts outreach programs and leads an annual camp serving 150 children from Marekamp, one of the most destitute communities in the country.
Over the years, availability of housing for children at risk has been a dire need but SOHO does not have a residential program. With God’s blessing, SOHO has finally been able to secure a beautiful mountain farm, INTSABA, on which a Children’s Village will be developed to eventually house 250 orphans and vulnerable children.