Youth and Community Centers Building Project

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Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church

Manzini, Swaziland

The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church has been a partner church with Global Ministries since 1982.  The Zionist Church in Southern Africa was founded in the late 1800’s in Othaka, South Africa, by a Dutch Reformed missionary, Mr. LeRoux, and an indigenous leader, Reverend Daniel Nkonyane.  In 1913, the Zionist Church first arrived in Swaziland at Embikwakhe, a location next to the city of Matsapha.  During the next 70 years, congregations in South Africa and Swaziland maintained similar practices and gathered annually to celebrate Easter.  In 1983 the Kukhany’Okusha branch of the Zionist Church of Swaziland was established under the leadership of Bishop A. M. Dlamini, the founding and present presiding bishop.  Kukhany’Okusha means “new light.”

Today, the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church has thirty-six congregations located in Swaziland and South Africa.  They are actively involved in church building projects, preschool education, food programs, and HIV/AIDS education programs within the congregations.  The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church is a member of the Council of Churches of Swaziland (the only Zionist Church that holds membership), the All Africa Conference of Churches, and the Organization of African Indigenous Churches. 

Since its beginnings, the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church has served poor local communities.  The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church became the first church in Manzini in 2001 and is now headquartered there.  Locally, the church has an expanding and large youth membership.  Due to the growth in youth membership as well as needs of the youth in the surrounding community, the construction of a youth center is extremely important.  The church and surrounding area will benefit in many ways from the youth center including: church youth programs for all thirty-six congregations, community youth programs, preschool for children under the age of six for both church and the community children.   Facilities also will be available for rental by other churches for conferences, weddings, and other events. 

The Youth Center will address all these needs while remaining focused on the four key performance areas defined by the church which are: 1) Spiritual growth for the church, 2) Growth in church membership, 3) Financial and material sustenance, and 4) Love and care for others.

The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church has purchased a piece of land close to its headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland’s largest city.  The church plans to make use of this land by building the youth center and other new facilities to further its mission and ministry.  The building project is long term, planned in two phases.

Phase I

The first phase of their building project will be a Youth Center.  The site of the Youth Center on the purchased land already has been chosen and the church is working toward obtaining permission from the city council to build the facility.  They plan to finance their own maintenance and operational costs but will need financial contributions to begin the project.  Start-up monies also will be raised by charging minimal fees for training workshops, preschool, and conferences/meetings, and from the income for leased office space and a catering service that will operate out of the facility’s kitchen. 

Phase II

The plan for the second phase of the construction project calls for a two-story building which will serve as a Community and Conference Center.  The building will contain three conference rooms, a dining hall, laundry facilities, and guest rooms.  The church plans to rent out this facility for local conferences, workshops, and meetings, thereby providing much-needed employment for church and community members and a sustainable source of income for the church, enabling it to more fully meet its social objectives. 

Much of the generated income will enable the remainder of the building to be used as a community service center, especially for community support in response to the effects of HIV and AIDS.  A mini-clinic will supply basic medication, HIV/AIDS counseling, and an HIV voluntary testing facility.  Plans for a food pantry are also underway.  Additionally, a component of the project will focus on training young people in entrepreneurial and other business skills, enabling them to start their own businesses and make a living wage.  Over time, extra income from the project will be used to create and sustain a number of other humanitarian projects, especially those related to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care.

Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church is very excited to begin construction of these new facilities.  The full project will cost approximately $550,000 to complete over a number of years.  However, bank loan interest rates in Swaziland are very high, and the church is in need of funds in order to reduce the amount it must borrow from the bank.  The church is relying heavily on donations from church friends and donations from the church youth. 

Cost for construction per square meter is estimated at $365.  Furniture and equipment are estimated at $500 per room.

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