The Swazi alumni stokvel was successfully launched on Wednesday 8 March 2017 at the Mbabane Theatre Club. The launch was well attended by local alumni. Most of those who were in attendance made their first contributions to the fund. According to Thandile Nxumalo, who is coordinating the stokvel, their target for 2017 is to raise ZAR 100 000. “Our proposal is to have a meeting every other month. We aim to bring more people in each meeting so that we get more donations as well as ideas on how to move this work forward,” she said.
The word “stokvel” originates from South Africa – and it refers to a traditional community-based saving scheme. Waterford Swazi alumni have used it to refer to a fund that seeks to support Swazi students get a UWC education.
Speaking during the launch, Waterford Kamhlaba Principal, Stephen Lowry, said they are so grateful to have an alumni community that is so passionately involved in the development of the school. He further mentioned that it is humbling to note that a number of Waterford alumni make a huge contribution to the economic development of the Swazi society. His words were echoed by the chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Mark Mills, who said, “Our alumni are doing a great job in Swaziland: we have engineers, doctors, teachers and artists who are influencing the Swazi society in a tremendous way.” He also applauded the alumni community for their continued efforts in supporting the Alumni Avenue initiative.
Participants were encouraged to volunteer as trustees and to help in shaping the draft constitution and other founding documents of the stokvel.