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Spotlight Stories

BANELE: Disaster Averted and Life Spared by Visiting Nova University Student

Lives are easily lost among the population of orphaned and vulnerable children in Eswatini.  Injuries that may not ordinarily be life threatening, can be, because medical help is not always readily available. Visits from professional groups and university students make a huge difference. Such is the case of the 20 doctoral students who visited Eswatini to volunteer their services with SOHO.

They visited Hope Discovery Learning Center and gave backpacks to each of the children. They helped feed the children at the refugee type camp where SOHO has a feeding center. This is where Christopher Thompson, a Counselor in training, noticed one of the 150 children needing food.

Banele Motsa is a Marekamp resident who came to the SOHO feeding center with eyes glazed with pain, but he was also hungry. As he took his place in the line, Christopher Thompson, one of the visiting psychologists, noticed that he had an oozing wound on his leg. The injury was plastered over with a white, paint like substance, and the skin was taking on a green cast.

“The child’s leg is moving towards sepsis,” Christopher said anxiously. Banele was brought to the attention of the SOHO coordinator who immediately began a search for a relative.

Soon a fifteen year old arrived, but he could not take Banele anywhere to be served because he was looking after a three year old while his mother worked.

Christopher provided carfare and funds for the cost of medical care. Late in the evening, the SOHO staff member went with the Banele’s brother to a clinic some distance away where treatment for both legs was provided. Banele had burned both legs with boiling water while trying to cook.

Mercifully, the wound healed after a series of daily clinic visits thanks to one random act of kindness. All were aware that Banele could have lost his leg or even his life, had there not been intervention. SOHO is grateful for the professional volunteers who come to provide needed services for the population we serve. Banele’s life was spared, a disaster averted.