The Cabrini Monks from Italy founded St. Phillips School in 1927 in one of Swaziland’s poorest, most remote areas. Sister Diane and Sister Barbara arrived at St. Phillips in 1971 then began a medical clinic in 1974 so that locals did not have to spend hours and entire weekly salaries to travel to the closest treatment. Now their clinic is focused on HIV/AIDS and to a lesser extent TB, clinically managing up to 1,400 active patients, particularly to ensure they take their medicines. St. Phillips’ dormitory supports 140 children with food and (see rest of story below pictures)
shelter during the school week. Plus they pay school fees for another 100 vulnerable children living in nearby homes. St. Phillips’ farm also employs 5 full-time local staff and 50 part-time workers for up to 2 week periods at peak weeding and harvesting. St. Phillips is mainly funded from profits of Australia’s Good Shepherd Hospitals which support about 40 different international locations. In Sept. 2007, the Sisters’ analysis determined that their farm must become profitable or they must stop growing the crops which fill in revenue gaps and their orphanage’s food needs. TechnoServe assessed the farm, determined that hot peppers would grow well, and connected St. Phillips with the African processor of a branded well-known hot pepper sauce. As a result, St. Phillips’ farm planted their second hot pepper crop in fall 2008 along with commercially growing tomatoes, butternut squash, cabbage and spinach. Within the plowed, planted and weeded pepper fields it is virtually no extra cost to grow cabbages in rows between. The approx. $16,000 netted from the first pepper crop has been well-applied to support the orphanage. The profits continue to enable the school, medical clinic, orphanage and community missions.