Our Location

We're in KwaMhlanga, South Africa.

KwaMhlanga is located in a rural township sixty kilometers north of Pretoria. We are economically related to Pretoria but geographically in the neighboring province of Mpumalanga. Our area was established as a Ndebele homeland during the apartheid era. KwaMhlanga is made up of many smaller villages that we collectively call KwaMhlanga and means, “the place of high grass or reeds.”  

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  • Most people in our community who work, travel an hour one way by taxi or bus to their employment in Pretoria. With the high cost of transportation, many can only return home on weekends, or even once a month.
  • Our local economy is made up of funeral homes, taverns, and tuck shops, or what we would call corner stores. A significant part of our economy is made up of builders, welders, and trades people. Government workers such as teachers, clinic nurses, and police officers, also contribute to our local community.
  • It is difficult to know what the unemployment rate is in our area, as much of our economy is informal and seasonal. Some have told me the unemployment rate is as high as 80%.
  • Our area has the second highest rate of HIV infection in South Africa at approximately 34%.
  • The Ndebele culture is a very proud, vibrant, and colorful culture that is rooted in cattle herding. The land is situated in a region called the high veld or grass land. It is surrounded by bush and game farms. The grass is harvested in fall and used for thatching.
  • People live in homes that range from large, well-built residences, to simple cement block three room homes, to mud and thatch homes, and finally corrugated zinc shacks.
  • Cooking is done on gas or electric stoves, but many still make use of the old coal fueled iron stoves or cook on an open fire.
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  • The population in the area immediately around our preschool is estimated to be 30,000 people.
  • Christianity is well accepted and practiced in our community. Shamanism, or traditional African beliefs, are widely practiced, even amongst Christians.
  • There are nine official languages in South Africa, and nearly all of them are represented in our community.