The new cohort of fellows has already completed their first month with us here at rise international as part of the in loco fellowship program of 2020. Within this short period of time, 13 young entrepreneurs have been thrown into the deep end and started to get their hands dirty with some real life experiences. The in loco experience is necessary to gap the bridge between education and employment with practical skills that can only be learnt through hands on work experience.  

Their first two weeks consisted of theoretical sessions which sought to fine tune their technical skills such as how to draw up a bill of quantities (BOQ), sketching as well as their soft skills including communication etiquette, negotiating and other skills.

The fellows have also had the chance to shift their mindsets and seek for every business opportunity as it arises through our fun and interactive business sessions, while also learning how to target clients through market research activities. The fellows have also learned the importance of using data to make informed decisions from leaders in the field of data analysis here in Lesotho. When being interviewed by a local radio station, one of the fellows described their journey so far as “intellectually challenging and pretty amazing”.

As an integral part of our design process at rise, the fellows were trained on how to facilitate a Participatory Design Workshop with the client and surrounding community, to see how they envision their new infrastructure. The result was a highly insightful, at times funny, other times educational view of how to begin the design process in this way. 

These new skills will come in useful as the fellows set to work on their first project, designing and building offices for a non-profit organization known as LNFOD (Lesotho Federation of Organizations of the Disabled) in Lesotho, whose mandate is to advocate and defend the rights of people with disabilities through the provision of training, materials, emotional support and by representing their needs to government, development partners and the wider community. 

LNFOD’s new head quarters will not only house the organization’s
important work but will also serve as a flagship building of inclusive design allowing LNFOD to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities.

This project is being made possible largely thanks to the support of Sedlak an Austrian construction company and their implementing partner Brot für die Welt.

rise in loco fellows on field research during an informal interview.

How has the first month been for our fellows, one word: ENGAGING!