Help for Lesotho’s children

hope for Lesotho's children

Help for Lesotho's children - “My greatest wish: I want to go to school!”

Ulrike Völkmann: Member of Sawabona Africa e.V. and former board member of Yes we care! e.V. – Help for Lesotho’s children (2011 – 2022)

If you ask children in Lesotho about their greatest wish, they almost always say: “I want to go to school!” – then their eyes light up with hope!

They really want to learn – but not only that: for many children in Lesotho, school is the only place where they can live in decent conditions, where they get food and clothing … And they also learn for life (and survival): for themselves, for their classmates, their families and their communities.

In this blog I take a closer look at the satiation in Lesotho, one of the poorest countries in the world and how we support local children in partnership with Help Lesotho.

Lesotho, “the kingdom in the sky”, is one of the poorest countries in the world. The state can therefore only finance the (rudimentary) elementary school – students have to pay to attend secondary school, as well as exam fees. Only a very small percentage of the population – especially in rural areas – can afford this.

Highest Aids Orphans

Lesotho’s poverty is also reflected in the population’s health. Many adults and children are HIV positive and suffer from AIDS. Lesotho has one of the highest rates of AIDS orphans in the world.

Many of these children have experienced unspeakable suffering and many of them can hardly or no longer be cared for by their other relatives. They therefore benefit enormously from being able to attend secondary school after elementary school. And: it is not uncommon for children supported by donations and/or school sponsorships to go on to set up social and innovative projects in their own country.

Anyone who – like me – has experienced the heart-warming gratitude and unbridled joy of life that attending a secondary school awakens in these children who have been shaken by life, knows deep down what it means to help these children

Sponsored children Lesotho
Image: Ulrike Völkmann visiting sponsored children in Lesotho. Source: Yes we care! e.V.

From Yes we care! To Help Lesotho

I was privileged to be on the board of the association Yes we care! e.V. – Help for Lesotho’s children. In addition to annual transport aid, improving nutrition with purchasing farm animals and the establishment of school vegetable gardens, construction of boarding school buildings, hunger relief campaigns during the Corona crisis, the largest project of Yes we care e.V. was the child sponsorship programme that enabled hundreds of children to attend high school and receive required psychosocial support. These children would otherwise have had no chance at all.

Unfortunately, the activities of the association Yes we care! e.V. had to be terminated in 2021 – so I am infinitely grateful that Sawabona Africa is now continuing this commitment with its local partner organization Help Lesotho!

Help Lesotho is a Canadian aid organization that is permanently active on the ground in many regions of Lesotho. The employees of Help Lesotho therefore know exactly what is most urgently needed. In addition to school attendance (and basic medical care), this is often primarily psychosocial help. Sponsored children are regularly visited by trained supporters.

Image: At School in Lesotho. Source: Yes we Care e.V.

Leadership Camps

In addition, Help Lesotho regularly offers “leadership camps”. The camps focus on topics such as coping with trauma, dealing with sexualized violence, preventing HIV/AIDS, gender inequality, bullying, responsibility and soft skills training.

For the children sponsored by Yes we care! e.V., these camps were always the highlight of the year!

Sawabona Africa is currently supporting what I consider to be Help Lesotho’s three most important projects: school sponsorships, an education fund and the financing of leadership camps.

Would you also like to help the children in Lesotho?

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