Our Poverty Initiatives
Expanding employment to lift people out of poverty, provide income and support to others through jobs is a central part of our plan to bring home and help to the people of Swaziland.
Over 50% of the population lives below the national poverty line and makes less than two dollars per day. Nearly 300 people are currently employed at Project Canaan and since each Swazi provides for 13 other family members on average, nearly 4,000 people are impacted in surrounding communities. The vocational aspect of Project Canaan includes the opportunity for training and the promise of hope. Hope for a living wage, employment and the ability to care for family in a country mired in unemployment. Work gives us purpose. It nurtures dignity and self-worth. It can mean the difference between babies left on the side of the road and a family that remains intact.
At Project Canaan, there are opportunities to learn a trade and work, from our Lusito Mechanic Program to our farm and its agriculture, dairy and egg project.
Khutsala Artisans provides employment for men and women from all over Swaziland. Each employee receives training in multiple areas, including but not limited to bead craft, jewelry making, ceramics, computers, inventory management, human resources and financial planning. All profits generated through sales of Khutsala Artisans merchandise go directly to support the children at Project Canaan.
Lusito Mechanic Shop
The Lusito Mechanic Shop and Kufundza Center are the main areas of focus for our vocational training programs. With the development of Lusito Mechanic Shop and the expansion of the current structure to implement this program, Project Canaan can achieve two important objectives: reduce its own reliance and expense from using outside preventive maintenance vendors while providing Swazis with a valuable and marketable skill set much needed in the surrounding communities. With nearly 20 vehicles, large farm equipment and other industrial machines on Project Canaan, this training program is vital to everything from keeping the cars, trucks and tractors going to providing diagnostic and repair capability. The ultimate and missional outcome is that several people each year will progress through this program, becoming trained and employable mechanics.
Kufundza Center is a carpentry shop that produces wood products used on Project Canaan such as baby cribs, children’s beds and other pieces of furniture. Men and women are able to move through various levels of training and apprenticeship, gaining important certifications while providing necessary items to sustain the work of Heart for Africa (Canada). In addition, there are opportunities to further expand its training and employment reach by producing hand crafted Christmas tree ornaments, handspun bowls and other wood products.