Although levels of literacy in Lesotho are relatively high and more than 90% of children attend primary school, 57% of people live below the poverty line and many adults are lacking the basic skills they need to access jobs or start their own business.
Community leadership is also often lacking because people don’t have the critical thinking and management skills required to effect change within their communities
Our projects aim to provide skills training and personal development programmes at our Community Centre in Ha Maqele. This will enable people of all ages to improve their education, gain confidence, access employment and contribute to community development.
Primary school class sizes in Lesotho can be up to 100 children and they have almost no materials for practical subjects such as art, craft, sewing and cookery. To help unlock the creative potential of the children, Action Lesotho offers a weekday programme of free classes at Ha Maqele, where children can paint, draw, make things and play creative games.
Access to Primary Education Initiative
We find that many of the orphans & vulnerable children attending our centres are unable to fully participate in education because they go to school hungry and feel excluded because they can’t afford the uniforms that all children wear to school in Lesotho. To combat this and help give the children equal educational opportunities, Action Lesotho has started an education package which includes a new school uniform, a daily breakfast club and an after-school homework club.
Action Lesotho works with 120 orphans and vulnerable children, but in order to make a long-term difference and break the cycle of poverty, it is also important to work with their carers. Action Lesotho is initiating a year-long programme for 20 women and 20 men to provide them with training in literacy and numeracy that will enable to access further education or employment. For example, Government-run carpentry courses are available but require a basic level of literacy & numeracy. Other life skills will also be covered during the course e.g. health, nutrition and parenting.
Train the Trainers
A core part of our work is to ensure that we train local people to a level where they can run projects for themselves and be trainers in their own right. We have already run courses for people to become English teachers within their communities and have also worked with local Primary School teachers to help them teach in a more interactive and creative way.
Training for Transformation
Training for Transformation (TfT) is a development education tool which aims to empower community leaders. The TfT programme works with existing groups and potential leaders to enhance their capacity to organise and engage with communities. A key element is to ensure that people have ownership and control over development programmes that will impact on their lives and others. It’s about identifying problems and finding solutions in a cooperative manner.
Action Lesotho ran a successful pilot training programme for community leaders, civil servants and Action Lesotho staff and now plans to work with more groups and train trainers in the technique.