Determine the Future of southern Africa
- A Portfolio of Projects from Lesotho
A national effort is underway
in Lesotho to mobilize resources to deliver healthcare to the country's
2.2 million people, a third of whom are HIV positive. SHARED has
identified several organizations in Lesotho that are working with
the more than 120,000 orphans and abandoned children whose lives
are devastated by this disease. By providing, shelter, food
and access to medical care, these organizations are helping to “Determine
the Future” of southern Africa one child at a time. SHARED
is committed to working with these organizations to improve the
health of the children they serve.
Why Lesotho? With
the great needs of many developing countries, why choose one that
no one has ever heard of? Here's why:
- The need is great and evident. Lesotho has the third highest
prevalence of HIV in the world.
- Because the country is a small, stable English speaking democracy,
it is a good fit for our mission and capacity.
- Recent budget cuts have forced other non-profit organizations
to leave the country, creating a gap in services just when the
HIV/AIDS crisis is increasing.
- We have identified a number of established organizations that
are providing important services to orphans and vulnerable children,
and that have the capacity to partner with SHARED, including transparency
of financial record keeping.
For these compelling reasons, we established the "Determine
the Future" portfolio of projects in Lesotho, southern
Photos courtesy of Chuck Kuehn
Surrounded on four sides by South Africa, Lesotho is a small country
with the world's third highest prevalence of HIV. While the situation
there is dire, there are encouraging signs of hope. A national effort
is under way to mobilize resources to deliver healthcare and other
services to the country's 2.2 million people, a third of whom are
HIV positive. Much work is being done on the community level by
people who volunteer their time and share their meager resources
with the tens of thousands of orphaned or abandoned children. The
threads of the communities are stretched to the breaking point but
a strong determination exists to ensure that the people and culture
of Lesotho survive this health crisis nightmare.
Many organizations, large
and small, local and international, are caring for children who
are being orphaned at a staggering rate as their parents and grandparents
die. Older children are dropping out of school to take care of younger
siblings. Children are becoming homeless. SHARED has identified
organizations in Lesotho that are well established and doing excellent
work to provide children with shelter, food, clothing, and medical
care but who are in need of additional resources to care for increasing
numbers of children. These organizations comprise our program portfolio,
"Determine the Future".
The "Determine the Future" Portfolio Partners and
Maseru Children's Village:
Located in Lesotho's capital, the Maseru Children's Village, is
a temporary home for about 25 orphaned or abandoned children between
the ages of 3 and 14 who may be HIV+. The village is made up of
dormitories, a preschool, counseling center, and several administrative
buildings as well as housing for staff. The children live in small
buildings on the premises with a housemother who prepares meals,
cleans and provides a home environment for the children. Younger
children attend the preschool at the village while older children
attend school nearby. The garden provides fresh vegetables for the
children that supplement the diet of donated or purchased foods.
SHARED has funded the
purchase of medicines and medical supplies for the children for
the past two years and are committed to sustaining this support.
In addition, SHARED's supporters contributed to the development
of a 10-acre parcel as a garden for the children, providing fresh,
nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Under the skillful leadership
of Mr. Lawrence Masupha, the village is well run with plans to build
a school for disabled children - the first of its kinds in Lesotho.
Supporting these carefully planned projects is part of SHARED's
"Determine the Future" portfolio.
To visit MCV's web site: www.children.org.ls
Beautiful Gate: Beautiful Gate provides residential and
hospice care to 25 abandoned or orphaned children under the age
of 5, many of whom are HIV+. The organization runs an adoption program
for these children, of whom many have been successfully placed in
homes with families from Lesotho. Beautiful Gate trains and employs
local women who care for the children in a home setting, which is
currently bursting at the seams.
Currently, Beautiful Gate is undertaking the development of an
expanded site to allow it to care for more children while providing
preschool classes and medical care. The project is stalled because
of lack of funds. Support for the medical center at Beautiful Gate
is part of SHARED's "Determine the Future" portfolio.
SHARED's donors have funded
the purchase of medicines and medical supplies for the children
at Beautiful Gate for the past two years. We are committed
to continuing this support in the future.
For more information about Beautiful
Gate, visit its web site: www.beautifulgate.org/lesover.php
Photos courtesy of Beautiful Gate Lesotho
in 1951, the Maluti Adventist Hospital is a 160-bed hospital
situated in the village of Mapoteng in the Berea District
of the Kingdom of Lesotho . Maluti Hospital offers a comprehensive
range of health care services, primarily to the approximately
100,000 people living in the 264 villages in its health service
area but many patients come from all other parts of the country
as well. There are over 5,000 admissions to the hospital annually
including 1,600 deliveries and 3,000 operations. There are
more than 120,000 outpatient visits per year.
AIDS pandemic has hit the hospital hard. Government subsidies,
donations and patient fees fall far short of the funding needed
to provide the services demanded of the hospital and its staff
of 6 doctors and 46 nurses.
has selected Maluti Hospital as an organization to assist
because of its role as one of the few hospitals in Lesotho
with a CD-4 count machine used in the diagnosis and treatment
of AIDS. Patients from all over the country come to the hospital
to be tested for HIV/AIDS, putting an extra strain on the
hospital's resources. It is an important player in the fight
against AIDS in Lesotho . Thanks to its donors, SHARED has
created a fund for the hospital to use to subsidize the cost
of the CD-4 count testing to allow all patients, regardless
of ability to pay, to obtain the testing they urgently need.
Waiting room in
ward at Maluti Hospital .
Tiny Lives: Rural
areas are often hardest hit with the least access to health
services and medicines. Transportation is difficult and isolation
is a fact of life. Jobs are scarce so parents look for work
in the city and leave their children with grandparents. The
population is scattered throughout the mountains in small
villages that are hard to reach especially during the winter
when it snows. This picture represents the reality for the
staff and children at Touching Tiny Lives.
in the Drakensburg Ridge mountains of Lesotho, the town of
Mokhotlong is home to Touching Tiny Lives, a safe house for
infants and toddlers who are orphans or abandoned children.
Many are HIV positive. Around 20 – 25 children are provided
food, clothing, shelter, medical care and love in a protected
environment. The founder, Ken Storen, a Peace Corps volunteer
with strong ties to Lesotho, is pictured below.
is committed to working with Touching Tiny
Lives to maximize the availability of medicines and medical
care for the children. For this reason, we have committed
funds to purchase medicines and medical care for the children
served by Touching Tiny Lives. Over the next year, about
100 children will benefit from the generosity of our donors.
are working with touching Tiny Lives and other organizations
to design, develop and implement a program to break the chain
of HIV transmission that occurs between a mother who has HIV/AIDS
and her child. Funding for medicines to support this
program are earmarked and ready to be used as soon as the
program is up and running.
more information about Touching Tiny Lives, http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/467/2025463
As SHARED's role with
organizations grows, so will our list of projects comprising the
"Determine the Future" portfolio.
SHARED is actively soliciting funds for this portfolio of projects.
The health of thousands of children is in our hands. We can help
"Determine the Future" for children in Lesotho. Please
join us by supporting SHARED.
Your tax-deductible donation
can determine what the future will be,
one child at a time.
to Projects page
in the Sky
Surrounded on all four borders by
South Africa, Lesotho is a democratic, independent nation
governed by King Letsie III and a duly elected parliament.
With a population of approximately 2 million people, more
than 740,000 are under the age of 14. It has the third highest
prevalence of HIV in the world. Primary school education
is provided free by the government but more than half the
population lives below the poverty level, surviving on $1
or $2 dollars per day. The Basotho people, 99% of the population,
are Christian, English speakers. Roughly the size of Maryland,
most of the country is mountainous and more than 1 mile
a PowerPoint slide presentation:
Where in the World is Lesotho?