rise update – March 2018
We are excited to share with you our first newsletter. A lot has happened in the past few months. Here are some of the highlights…..
Organisational strengthening of our local partner GLC
Our community partner God’s Love Centre (GLC) , is a home for orphaned and abandoned children. An integral part of our partnership with GLC is not just to improve the quality of lives of the children living there with refurbished and additional buildings, but also to help the GLC leadership gain access to skills and networks they need in order to excel in the running of the childcare facility. This includes strengthening their governance, financial management, communications, quality of care, fundraising and overall management. A series of weekly leadership trainings have started and will continue until end of September.
in loco fellowship launched in Lesotho
Twenty of Lesotho’s most promising young entrepreneurs have been selected to join an 8-month design & build fellowship program which will run from February to September. Read more.
Read the 1st of the in loco fellows blog series here.
Participatory Design Workshop
An intense 10 days of learning about human centred design and then putting those learnings into practice by going into the community and finding out their exact challenges, needs and wishes for a better quality of life at the orphanage. The in loco lead Architects, Pedro Clarke and Luca Astorri visited Lesotho from Portugal and Italy respectively to run the workshop. Read more.
Basic Business Skills
Training of Trainers
10 dedicated youth leaders were selected and trained as business coaches on how to facilitate basic business skills to low literary participants.
We can’t wait to see what small businesses are launched once these trainings have been implemented! Read more
Since the current GLC site is already overcrowded with 50+ children living in the 2 dorm-room house, we had to acquire an additional piece of land 1 km up the road from the existing site. There are 200,000 orphans in Lesotho, which constitutes 10% of the population. Most of the other childcare facilities are also full to capacity, so unfortunately it is unlikely that the need for more housing for orphans is going to be resolved soon.
After a lot of discussions with GLC and the community at large, it was decided that the younger children up to 13 years old should remain at the existing site along with the Pre-school, and the adolescent youth from 14 upwards should be located at the new site, which will include various small businesses including an Internet Café, vegetable gardens and a piggery.
The in loco fellows are busy designing, planning, compiling the Bill of Quantities and negotiating with suppliers the best possible rates in order to keep construction costs down. Final drawings will be submitted to the authorities in March to obtain the building permit approval.
Refurbishment plans for existing site
The in loco fellows are busy planning all the improvements needed on the existing site including installation of water harvesting tanks to solve the problem of shortage of water, partitioning the dorm rooms so that children have more privacy, expansion of kitchen, re-allocation of pit latrines to make better utilisation of outdoor space to create play areas for the children as well as increase the vegetable growing areas and installing a roof over the converted shipping container where the pre-school is located so that the classrooms don’t get so hot in the afternoon sun. Renovation works should commence later on in March (subject to funding).
Existing site Proposed layout for refurbished site
Partnerships are key
All of this work would not be possible without key partners. Throughout the planning of the program, partnerships have been formed with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) as well as Limkokwing University and Lerotholi Polytechnic. Read more.
Changing the face of architecture in Lesotho
Part of our mandate is to increase awareness and get people thinking outside of the box when it comes to architecture, which we are doing in 3 key ways:
- Guest Lecture Series
The first of which took place in February with Luca Astorri who spoke about his experiences in architecture in a development context building a school in a Nairobi slum area. March’s Lecture will be on “Creating your own Sustainable Space” by T’siu Moorosi 16th March at Lerotholi Polytechnic’s lecture theater.
- Film screenings and Debates – in partnership with Alliance Française about the role of architecture for the wider community. Check out our FaceBook page for upcoming events.
- Architecture Library – since Lesotho doesn’t have one we thought it’s about time it did! We are asking any visitors coming to Lesotho to bring architecture books with them and any nearby architecture firms in South Africa are also welcome to make donations!
BOND Events continues to be our main donor and has pledged to donate $1.67 for every $1 raised from other donors up to a value of $50,000 in 2018.
We are pleased to announce two new donors this month:
Vodacom Lesotho who is going to sponsor the 6 female in loco fellows as part of their Gender Equality and women empowerment initiatives.
Agara Foundation from Malta, is currently fundraising for laptops and volunteers to come to Lesotho from Malta in August to set up a computer lab at GLC and give the necessary software training on how to set up and run an Internet Café.
How can you get involved?
Thanks to your generosity, we have raised over $50,000 so far through donations, sponsorships and the purchase of art from our fundraising event rise in the city.
However we still need to raise another $100,000 to make this project possible. Every $1 counts so please join us on this journey of learning and invest here.