Children Enjoy good health
HIV and AIDS: In 2011, Lesotho continued to provide care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS. The country has one of the highest HIV and AIDS infection rates among the adult population between the ages of 15 to 49 years. Poverty, HIV/AIDS and food insecurity are the biggest challenges to the survival, care, protection and development of children in Lesotho.
Food security is essential for the Basotho nation, just as it is for all other countries. In recent years, Lesotho has moved beyond its earlier focus on agriculture and food self-sufficiency to emphasise the need for food security. In an effort to assist communities, World Vision’s food security activities include vegetable production under irrigation, training of farmers in sustainable farming practices and diversification to such cash crops such as potatoes and beans. World Vision Lesotho has also constructed greenhouses for vegetable production.
World Vision Lesotho will, for the next three years, be implementing the Child Health Now project. The project will be implemented in three World Vision Lesotho supported programmes. The project aims to contribute to the reduction of under-five child mortality rate in Lesotho from 117 to 100 per 1000 live births and maternal mortality rate from 1,155 to 1,000 per 100,000 live births by 2015 in line with Millennium Development Goal 4 and 5.
Children are educated for life
In an effort to upgrade the standard of English in schools within its area of jurisdiction, Mpharane ADP in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Training and MacMillan book publishers, held essay competitions for both primary and secondary schools. Winners were awarded stationery and books.
WVL through its projects aimed at contributing and strengthening educational infrastracture need for the communities. The contribution of this intervention is to develop a healthy educational environment for children and giving them a good start in life. Partnership with the Ministry of Education Facility Unit has led to the construction of classrooms.
Children experience the love of God and their neighbours
World Vision Lesotho signed Memorandum of Understanding with heads of churches. World Vision shares the ministry mandate of churches and other Christian agencies to work with people, including children, living in poverty and those living in affluence. Believing that spiritual transformation is integral to transformational development and that the Church is God’s sustaining instrument in the world, while continuing to engage the total community, World Vision’s commitment is to work with churches as indispensable partners. The purpose of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to strengthen partnership with the Church in Lesotho to enhance the holistic well-being of children, their families and communities as guided by identified in-country strategic priorities.
Children are cared for, protected and participating
World Vision Lesotho continued to advocate for the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS and worked hand in hand with the church and the community to eradicate stigma and discrimination.
Through prevention, as well as care and support, World Vision worked to build HIV and AIDS awareness in communities in order to prevent the rapid spread of the pandemic. World Vision Lesotho joined the government of Lesotho to encourage the community to go for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), especially pregnant mothers, to ensure their unborn babies are protected from the deadly virus.
The community is mobilised into Community Care Coalitions that involve police departments, churches and community leaders to lead in confronting injustice among children. The incidents include property grabbing from vulnerable children, physical abuse and denying them the right to education. These situations require the community to network and strengthen the fabric of protection and advocacy for the well-being of children. Improvement in the situation can be reflected by increased level of reporting of these cases and those brought to justice because of such.
WVL raises awareness on children’s rights among community leaders, executive committee members of ADPs as well as ADP staff members, with emphasis on children’s participation rights. WV has established children committees in all ADPs to monitor child abuse and conduct advocacy. Adults and children committee members were trained in child rights, HIV and AIDS, leadership skills and advocacy.
The children committees also report to World Vision about any other problems or needs that affect children in their respective villages. They are the middleman between World Vision and other children in the ADP. Their main role is to advocate on behalf of other children. World Vision further worked with key stakeholders to ensure needy children were afforded the right to education, especially the herd boys.