It gives me great pleasure to have this chance to update you on what has been a year of yet another successful partnership between you the donors, Educare Fund , the girls and their families. Here's what your donations helped to achieve:
- Supported the campaigns which raised a whopping £2280 in total during 2015.
- Helped 10 girls finish high school. There were 3 1st class passes, including one with a set of straight A's.
- Saw 6 girls progress from year 10 to year 11. This group did really well too, with one of the girls achieving a 1st class pass with merit and the rest quite a decent set of grades.
On previous visits to Lesotho, Liphethiso has usually visited the schools to meet the girls and get some measure of the impact of your donations. Last December the visit was later than usual and the schools had already closed for the Christmas break. However, two of the schools managed to arrange for the girls’ parents (or guardians) to come to the school for a short meeting. This was possible because they either worked nearby in the industrial area, or they lived near the schools.
The meeting was Liphethiso’s first opportunity to meet and talk to the parents of any of the girls we support. It was a real honour to talk to these ladies and get their perspective. All three work at the factories nearby and are the sole support for their children. One of the ladies is actually an aunt of one of the girls. The girl is an orphan and the aunt is raising her along with her own kids. In her own words, ‘Mathabang said:
'The support from Educare Fund makes the money I get from the factory work stretch a bit further to enable me to afford food, transport and the rest of the uniform. Without it I would really struggle. My niece is a very good girl who works really hard. I want a different life for her. I don’t want her to struggle like me.'
One lady is a widow and has four kids to raise on her own. The two older ones have finished high school but it was a huge struggle for her to keep them in school. Mamotsamai says:
The pay I get from factory work is too low to enable me to look after my children’s needs especially the younger ones still at school. I feel bad that among other things I can’t afford to pay for them to go on educational trips when these are arranged by the school. However, the money that Educare Fund provides pays for all of the school fees for my girl, which means that I can now afford food, and such things as her bus fare to get to school and also for me to go to work. It is such great help.
Makananelo also works in a factory nearby. She agrees with the other ladies that the support from you all has made a huge difference to her family. She said;
The money from Educare Fund can be described as giving my child access to ‘free education‘ in that at her school, it pays all of the school fees, removing that burden from my shoulders. With the fees paid, my pay can go towards other needs. I do hope the people who give this money will continue to help other families with the same problems.
All of the ladies described a scenario which is common to a lot of families in Lesotho. Anyone who is working, no matter how low paid, has to contend with an expectation that they can help and support members of the extended family who are worse off than them. All these women would have an extra 15 to 20 people who depend on them. The stories that these ladies told are only a sample, but it is clear what huge difference your donations are making to these lives. They all expressed the hope that twith your support, their children would have a better life than they themselves are having.
Thank you once again and let’s go forward and make 2016 another success story. Our first campaign for 2016 is coming up in a few weeks.time at the beginning of March. I know I can count on your support.
Please feel free to send any questions or comments if you have any.