Does Hard Work Pay Off? A Case Study From Eswatini

September 09, 2021

Does Hard Work Pay Off? A Case Study From Eswatini

When you want to accomplish something, society tells you to work hard for it. Want to write a book? Start writing daily. Want to own a business? Create a solid business plan. Want to become a professional athlete? Get ready to practice harder than every person standing next to you. 

Anyone will tell you that achieving a goal requires time and persistence. But after months or even years of putting in effort day in and day out, it’s easy to wonder if hard work pays off. When you hit a few obstacles or face multiple rejections, doubt can easily creep in. You can start to question your dream, purpose, and why you even started down the path you’re on today.

Things can get so discouraging that you may start contemplating giving up. It’s the easy thing to do. Quitting is much simpler than staying the course, so throwing in the towel is always tempting. However, giving up should only be an option if you’re sure your hard work won’t amount to anything. 

If you can say with full confidence that your efforts won’t lead you closer to your goal, then quitting is a good idea. But from what Khutsala Artisans has seen in Eswatini, Africa, hard work does get you closer to accomplishing your goal. It leads to success if you stay patient and persistent. 


The hardships in Eswatini 

In Eswatini, a small southern landlocked country in Africa, there are over 1.1 million Swazis. While a smaller country, Eswatini is battling many issues, and they’re not problems you can easily solve overnight. 

For example, most Swazis in Eswatini live in poverty. One research report indicates that the country’s national poverty rate is about 63 percent. Another report by the World Food Programme states that 58.9 percent of the rural population lives below the national poverty line while 20 percent of Swazis in Eswatini are extremely poor.

On top of the widespread poverty is a high unemployment rate. While it’s hard to find an exact number, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs puts the unemployment rate at 41 percent. However, Heart for Africa, a faith-based humanitarian organization, has heard estimates that reach 70 percent

With few employment opportunities and extreme poverty plaguing the country, other issues like hunger and poor access to education are bound to pop up. Most Swazis, particularly children, are malnourished and starving because their parents can’t afford food. Additionally, many Swazi children do not complete school because their parents can’t afford it.


Khutsala Artisans believes in hard work 

Khutsala Artisans, a Heart for Africa initiative, was created out of the desire to help Swazis in Eswatini overcome their biggest hardships. But reducing poverty, unemployment, hunger, and poor access to education isn’t easy, especially if you want to achieve long-term results. 

The only way to decrease these issues is through hard work, and that’s what Khutsala Artisans focuses on every single day. In fact, “khutsala” means hard-working, so it’s a reminder that with consistent effort, the team at Khutsala Artisans can achieve their goals. 

And that’s not to say that hard work alone is the key to unlocking everything. Other factors come into play, like opportunities, resources, and adequate training. But once those things are available, it’s easier to put in effort, knowing that it won’t go to waste.

That’s why Khutsala Artisans has done everything possible to offer the puzzle pieces that Swazis need to ensure their hard work pays off. In Eswatini, Khutsala Artisans provides Swazis with job opportunities, a fair wage to increase their financial resources, and the ability to train in their field. And it’s because of these stepping stones that Swazis in Eswatini are starting to see the benefits of their hard work.   


Does hard work pay off? Swazis say yes. 

Swazis at Khutsala Artisans make beautiful home decor and jewelry. These artisans come to work every day ready to create pieces that customers will love, and their dedication to their craft has started to change the trajectory of their lives. 

It's not an understatement to say that their hard work is paying off. For instance, by working at Khutsala Artisans, Swazis in Eswatini now have the capability to do three significant things.


  1. Give food to their families

 Without a regular income, it’s impossible for Swazis to take care of their families, much less themselves. They can’t afford food when they have no means to buy it. And even when they do have some money, most Swazis have to contemplate whether they should spend it on food or other things like medicine, which is really important given the fact that Eswatini has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS

 However, with a well-paying job, Swazis don’t have to decide between food and medicine. They don’t have to go home to an empty kitchen and comfort children with empty stomachs. Instead, they can use the money they’ve earned from working to buy food and support their family's needs. 


  1. Pay for their children’s education 

While primary school is free in Eswatini, secondary school is not, which is why so many Swazi children don’t attend. Most parents in Eswatini can’t pay for their children’s schooling and school supplies when there are more pressing needs to fulfill, particularly ones that could mean life or death. 

But again, when Swazis in Eswatini have a job where they can work hard and succeed, they don’t have to make these hard choices. They don’t have to choose between paying for their children’s education and buying one meal. Instead, they can afford both. Their hard work and consistency can open the door to giving their children a great education and ending the cycle of poverty. 


  1. Provide a safe and stable home 

Because poverty is such an issue in Eswatini, it’s common to see Swazi adults abandon their children. Of course, it's not something these parents want to do. Leaving their kids behind is usually the only solution they see to their problems. 

Without another mouth to feed or worry about, it’s easy to think life will be easier, but of course, that’s not the case. And that’s especially not the case for children who are abandoned. These kids are left to die beside rivers, in the trash, or on the side of the road, oftentimes without any clothes on. 

But the Swazis working at Khutsala Artisans are helping reduce this devastating reality. By having a job and regular income, these Swazis never have to consider leaving their kids behind. They don’t have to stress about supporting another person. On the contrary, these Swazi adults work hard to ensure they always provide a safe and stable home for their kids and the other children in their community. 

Hard work pays off

While challenges may arise and unexpected obstacles will occur, you can experience the benefits of hard work. Khutsala Artisans can confidently believe this because it has seen its amazing, talented artisans change their lives when they have a foundation that allows their hard work to be fruitful. 

By having the building blocks for success—a job, a great wage, and training—the Swazis at Khutsala Artisans show up to work, empowered to work hard because they know their efforts won’t be wasted. They know they’ll be able to take care of themselves and their families, which is a goal that every Swazi in Eswatini wants to accomplish and a result that Khutsala Artisans is constantly working hard to help its talented employees achieve. 

How you can help 

Khutsala Artisans depends on the sales of their handcrafted goods to continue to provide opportunities for those who want to work hard. When you shop with us, your purchases help us to continue to give those willing to work hard the opportunities they desire to provide for their families. Visit our online store today at  Shop with Purpose!

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