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in loco fellows blog series 2020 #6: Great things never come from our comfort zone

My name is Ramarou Tsoho, a 30 year old Mosotho man. I was born and raised in the highlands of Lesotho “Raleqheka”. I am privileged to be part of the 2020 cohort of the in loco fellowship at rise international. I hold a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Lerotholi Polytechnic. I have chosen this programme because I believe engineers are among the fortunate since they build their own monuments with public consent, public approval and often public funds, most importantly they bring construction ideas and dreams in to reality.

Relationship Inspiring Social Enterprise (rise) offers a great opportunity for new graduates from the built environment, to have experience through learning by doing in the in loco fellowship programme. Most importantly it raises young Basotho entrepreneurs who then become job creators.  This programme gives clear insight into what the work environment is like; we learn time management, prioritizing, we feel real pressure to ensure completion of tasks and gain an array of skills that sharpen us to be field ready. I am a personal believer in the power of being humble and teachable because the world is way bigger than our view of it. There is always  room for a new idea, a new step and a new beginning, so it is wise to open yourself up to learning.

I started the fellowship in July 2020, with absolutely no experience in the construction of buildings and in running a business as a whole. However, being assigned to be part of the research team taught me a lot in gathering information on all aspects that are needed in obtaining the success of a project. It was in this team that we were searching and sourcing the materials that the design team wanted the proposed building to have. This helps in finance control and time management because by the time the project commenced, we knew where to get materials needed. I was then assigned to be part of the events and digital media team of our cohort. This is where I learnt extensively that punctuality, reliability and consistency are the keys to life. Know the time and frequency to post on the various social media platforms and maintain it so that people can easily follow you. Remember it is through social media where people get to know you better in all things you do.

At this juncture I am now in the quality control, plant and logistics team where we intelligently control the interlinking of material flow and production process. In addition to that, we are also maintaining standards in manufactured products

For this 2020 cohort, we are constructing the offices for Lesotho National Federation for Disabled (LNFOD). This will be one of the most outstanding buildings I’ve ever known here in Lesotho. It has a cavity wall which is not usually included in the buildings in our country. Cavity walls make it possible for the temperature in rooms to be inversely proportional to the temperature that surrounds the building. This building is also inclusive; it is structured such that it accommodates both disabled and able people to utilize it with ease. For instance there is a ramp made for people who use wheelchairs and electric plugs are installed at lower positions of the building than usual which will allow excess for people on wheelchairs.

Through rise I saw a light at the end of the tunnel; because of the in loco fellowship I will be a job creator one day. Your world can be an entirely different place than the world you lived in just moments ago, once your attitudes towards it changes. I almost gave up on my career but rise rescued me by giving me hope. I am gaining the much needed experience to be field ready, I now believe that I indeed have a bright future ahead of me.

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