It all began in 2001 when Lynn Frusher and Robert Nestor, with their family, were chosen to live for three months in a village called Ekudzeni (meaning “Far Away”) near Manzini in Swaziland. It was one of the first reality programmes for TV. They went with their three children then 12, 7 and 4. What started as an experiment became their home. The village is small and the only school was over ten miles away and up a mountain. There was no transport attached to the village. If the children could not make the school journey, they were not educated. Lynn and Robert were inspired to help build a village school.
They approached the village Chief, who gave them a patch of land for the school. They raised enough for foundations to be laid. Local people were largely responsible for the building. The school was very simple with no electricity. When the government heard about the school, they gave them a teacher on the condition that a house would be built for her and that there would be proper toilets built and proper fencing around. In the expectation of this being carried out, the Government also gave them a simple bus service so that children from outlying villages could come to the school.
The ALMT made a grant in 2007 to complete the teacher's accommodation, the buildings, buy the furnishings, pay for the boundary fence, pay the teachers’ salaries and buy stationery and recreational playground equipment.
In 2012, AVSF had made great progress in enabling children to access education and approached the ALMT for further funds to support the building of a bridge to help children access the school, one cow, six pigs,100 chickens and the means to plant a potate and vegetable field.
This project has gone from strength to strength and we are extremely proud at what has been achieved with hard work and dedication.
You can watch a short film about AVSF on our YouTube channel: