It happened on September 16, 2011, a simple signing of a simple but profound agreement with the Swaziland government and The Luke Commission to provide medical services for thousands of rural Swazis. Dr. Harry VanderWal said: “This validates our partnership with the Kingdom of Swaziland, specifically the Ministry of Health, and demonstrates their confidence in TLC.” With Harry is Dr. Simon Zwane, Director of Medical Services for the Kingdom of Swaziland.
It’s just pieces of paper and a couple of signatures, but as longtime ophthalmic surgeon in Swaziland, Dr. Jonathon Pons (not pictured), said, “I’m over the moon. This is the compilation of years of hard work, relationship building, and the favor of God.”
The Director, Dr. Simon Zwane, officially stamps the Memorandum of Understanding between The Luke Commission Swaziland and the Government of Swaziland represented by the Ministry of Health. Harry watches with a grateful heart to the One who moves hearts.
This is the cover page of a 7-page document spelling out how The Luke Commission can assist Swaziland and how the Swazi government can assist The Luke Commission.
Frans Pienaar, CEO of Inyatsi Construction and Chairman of TLC Swaziland, had this to say: “To get Government to agree in principle to something like this is a huge achievement; to get them to sign something as comprehensive as this is truly a Miracle.”
Continued Frans: “This will truly provide supporters and donors of TLC with comfort that this whole operation works in submission to the authorities set in place by God.”
Surrounding the Director of Medical Services Dr. Zwane and Echo VanderWal, co-director of The Luke Commission, are dedicated leaders Sipho, Thulani, and Phumie. “To comprehensively and most effectively care for the Swazi people, it is imperative that TLC be part of the national strategy,” said Echo.
“This agreement is SO exciting, because we have been fully integrated into the national strategy,” added Echo. This formalizes the collaboration between the Kingdom of Swaziland and TLC.”
It’s a great day for TLC Swazi staff, too. From left are Sipho Mabuza, Thulani Thomo, and Phumzile Msibi with Dr. Harry VanderWal and Dr. Vusi Magagula, Deputy Director of Medical Services. Dr. Magagula has supported, encouraged, and facilitated The Luke Commission for several years.
Echo said, “He really cares about his people and is trying to turn the HIV/AIDS pandemic around. It’s difficult to watch the pain he and all our friends at the Ministry of Health sit under to do their jobs.”