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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 Africa.


Photos courtesy of Chuck Kuehn

About Lesotho:

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 Projects

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

Maluti Hospital: Established 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.

 

The 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.

 

SHARED 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 the maternity

                           ward at Maluti Hospital .

Touching 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.

 

Tucked 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.

 

TTL Founder, Ken Storen

SHARED 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.

 

We 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.

For 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.

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LESOTHO
The Kingdom
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 high.

 

Map of Lesotho

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