Matjana Community Preschool

Kaphunga Swaziland

Matjana is a not-for-profit, community preschool in rural Swaziland

A Fun filled End to our First Year

Written by Michelle Brear

Matjana Preschool has survived its first year! In the last few busy weeks we went on our first excursion, held our first graduation ceremony and organized our second fundraising party.

School Excursion

Our first school excursion was to Wonkewang Preschool, about ten kilometers away in another area of Kaphunga. It’s a well established school, run by Korean Missionaries, who welcomed the Matjana kids and teachers to their classrooms and playground for the day. The kids had fun making new friends, playing on the swings, slide and see-saw, learning new Swazi dances and driving in the car to get there. For the teachers it was a great opportunity to get new teaching ideas, and some ideas for designing our new classroom.

Graduation Day

Preschool Graduation is a big deal in Swaziland- lots of singing, dancing, performing, eating and, it wouldn’t be a graduation ceremony without… miniature graduation gowns. Matjana Preschool’s first graduation ceremony was no exception to this fine tradition!

Teacher Ncobile Mbonane with the kids at the 2007 Graduation Concert

Teachers and children spent weeks preparing plays and practicing dances to perform for parents on the day. The kids did a great job learning their lines and dance moves, but despite a whole year of preschool, they couldn’t quite get their heads around the concept of sitting still and shutting up when it wasn’t their turn to speak.

Parents (and children) arrived early on the day to prepare food- by 6am the fire was raging, rice was boiling and chicken feathers flying. By noon a feast fit for a king had been prepared.

The kids made there grand entrance at ten and spent two and a half hours singing, performing short plays and dancing traditional Swazi style, before donning the gowns and collecting their graduation certificates.

Sixteen children graduated. Three will return next year but dressed up anyway. We look forward to seeing many classes graduate in the future!

For more information and pictures visit the Graduation day page

Fund Raising Party

Despite torrential rain and closed roads, the school’s second fundraising party was lots of fun for all involved. Local people turned out in their hundreds, packed into MPS’s tiny classroom, danced, ate apples from strings, joked and enjoyed themselves. By the end of the day there were so many people we all moved outside to watch the dance performances in the rain! Unfortunately the rain spoilt our fundraising attempts, but it couldn’t dampen the fun filled atmosphere!

A Picture of the Swaziland Flag


Matjana 2009

New Swings for Matjana

2009 Begins

2009 School Committee

Matjana 2008

Improving MPS in 2008

Parents get involved in MPS Committee

Comparing 2007 and 2008

Dancing at MPS

Training Swaziland Teachers

Ministry of Education Inspection

Matjana Excursion 2008

Graduation Party 2008

Matjana 2007

The First Month

Why Kaphunga needs a preschool

Inaugural Fundraising Day

Matjana becomes Registered

Michelle gets Siswati lessons

Enrolment for 2008

Plans for A new Classroom

Chris and Corina visit Matjana

Fun Filled End to first Year

The Graduation