The relationship between Mbabane, Swaziland, and Fort Worth is one that uniquely demonstrates the humanitarian power of our organization, as illustrated by the community health center built through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program. This capital city on the African continent has an estimated population of 95,000, making it the largest city in Swaziland. It derives its name from a chief, Mbabane Kunene, who lived in the area when British settlers arrived. It is also a commercial hub for the surrounding region and thrives on their sugar export and tourism.
Swaziland prides itself on the warmth and friendliness that it extends to all its visitors. The rural charm and ethnic culture of this small independent kingdom, located between South Africa and Mozambique, draws many travelers, especially those who come to enjoy the traditional Swazi experience and traditional events. Swaziland is also famous for its arts and crafts, and it’s impossible to leave without visiting – and most likely buying – some of the uniquely African crafts like the well-known Swazi candles and the beautiful Ngwenya Glass. One of the few remaining monarchies left in the world, Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III and renowned for its ceremonial culture.
Experience Mbabane, Swaziland
The annual exchange activities between the cities include both inbound and outbound youth exchanges, adult service projects and many humanitarian-focused projects, including the construction of a health and social center in Mbabane funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and a Rotary Club of Fort Worth Children’s Reading Corner in the Mbabane Public Library, as well as the delivery of 292 wheelchairs and establishment of a sustainable repair shop to maintain the chairs.
Thanks to a three-year $115,000 grant by Sister Cities International, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we recently constructed a community health center in Mbabane as part of the Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program.