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Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho

by Educare Fund
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho
Help Educate 40 Bright Girls in Lesotho

First of all, let me start this update by again thanking you for supporting the work of Educare Fund. In March this year, many of you rallied round to support the matching fund campaign on GlobalGiving. Some of you were new donors while many had supported our previous campaigns and a number of you have set up regular monthly donations. Regular donations are of great value to Educare Fund because they give a certain amount of stability to our fundraising by providing a guaranteed minimum monthly income. Your donations continue to change the lives of young women in Lesotho. Many of the girls you are helping support would otherwise be denied the opportunity for further education simply because of family poverty.

During my visit to Lesotho in December 2015, a colleague and I visited St Mary’s High School where Alice, one of the girls sponsored by Educare Fund currently attends. The specific reason for the visit was that this particular girl had shown rather disappointing performance at the mid-year exams held in June every year. These exams are used by schools to get an idea of how the student might perform in the end of the year exams especially in years 10 and 12. The feedback from these exams enables the school to identify gaps in the student’s learning so that remedial action can be taken. Our visit with Alice gave us the opportunity to find out why she was no longer getting good results. It turned out that her mother was very sick and the girl, on top of having to care for her mother, was herself really worried about her health. This was definitely having an adverse effect on Alice’s studies.

The good news is that at the end of the year Alice did pick up on her studies and obtained a rather good 2nd class pass. Her story of being a young carer is unfortunately not unique as it is not uncommon for girls of her age to have to care either for a sick parent and sometimes younger siblings as well. This responsibility for younger siblings is indeed the case for Timello. Here’s what she says:

My father died 12 years ago and since then my mother has been struggling to make ends meet. \it has been very difficult for her to pay my school fees especially since I got to high school. In the end she had to go look for work in South Africa (slightly better paid) and now I am left with the responsibility of looking after my younger brother and sister.

At sixteen years of age, it would be hard enough for Timello to have sole responsibility for herself, let alone having to take care of younger siblings. Needless to say, without your help, she would have the added burden of worrying about whether or not her school fees would be paid. This would clearly have a huge negative impact on her performance at school.

Attached to this report is the video recorded at St Mary’s High School. The girls hope that you enjoy their singing. We certainly did.

Here's the YouTube link for the video:

https://youtu.be/CW_g_1nrH2w

I hope you enjoy it!

Till next time.

Warm regards

 

Liphethiso Monica Harris

Dear everyone

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.

Kind regards

 

Liphethiso Monica

Let me start this report by expressing our huge gratitude for your support for the work of Educare Fund during this year. I would especially like to thank you all for supporting our fundraising campaigns on GlobalGiving. This has resulted in a number of new unique donors, both on a one-off as well as a recurring basis. In the last two months, the matching fund campaigns we participated in raised a total of £338 ($513.48). In the local currency in Lesotho, this money is enough to power up to 7 girls through one year of high school when added to what their families contribute. How amazing is that!

The girls continue to work hard toward achieving their dreams for a bright future and in their own words; the support with school expenses represents a huge weight off their young shoulders, enabling them to concentrate on their school work without the constant fear of being laid off school. Many of the girls rely on their grandmothers’ pension (about $40/ 550 ZAR a month) for all their needs, including school fees.

 Liteboho is in the final year of high school this year. Here’s what she says:

 'I’m really grateful for your support. My parents are both not working and were struggling to pay my school fees. If I hadn’t been lucky enough to be sponsored by Educare Fund, I would not have got this far with my education. Now I’m really optimistic about achieving my dream of becoming a medical doctor in the future.'

 Palesa is also in the final year of high school and dreams of becoming an accountant in the future. She writes:

'I’m very happy to have this opportunity to write and thank you for your support and to tell you my hopes and dreams for the future. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having given me financial assistance since 2013 up to now. Being an accountant is my dream. I plan to work hard to make it happen.'

 It is such an honour to be part of these young people’s support system through enabling them to continue their paths toward a bright future.  In her letter Kananelo says:

'Your gift of sponsorship means I no longer have to worry about whether or not I can continue with my education. This also helps my parents who previously struggled to keep up with the payment of school fees. Now I can see my dream of becoming a teacher in the future becoming a reality.'

 Trawling through the ‘thank you’ letters the girls have sent reveals that the most popular future career this year is accountancy. This is closely followed by medicine, with one or two girls thinking about teaching, mechanical engineering and air traffic control as possible careers to pursue. They all voice their joy at being given the opportunity to change their own lives.

I hope I can speak for you too in saying that it is such a joy being part of this process of life changing effort. Not only is it a joy, but it is also a privilege.

Thank you again for supporting Educare Fund. I will be visiting Lesotho in Next month and I hope to have a chance to meet and talk to some of these young ladies. Watch this space for feedback on their progress!

Liphethiso Monica Harris

Three more young women finished high school at the end of 2014. They all did really well and we are hopeful that their future will be bright, just like Nthabiseng, who tells her story below.

‘‘My name is Nthabiseng (Nthabi for short). It means ‘rejoice with me’. I am rejoicing right now, having successfully finished high school and gone on to complete a university degree. I am now doing a part time Masters degree while working in a government department as a senior administrator. I am now married and have a daughter who I know I can support to get a good education so that she has a better life than I did.”

 Nthabi’s story could have been completely different. Like many young people from poor families, finishing high school is in itself a huge challenge. Her father was retrenched from his mining job in South Africa. The years of mine work had taken their toll on him, but even if he was able to work, jobs were scarce. Meanwhile Nthabi’s mother eked out a meagre living growing and selling vegetables to support the family. Nthabi’s uncle did his best to help her stay in school, paying some of the fees, but he had his own children to think about. Unless a miracle happened, Nthabi would have to leave school.

 “The principal at my school had heard of the support that Educare Fund gives to girls like me so that we can finish high school and maybe attain university level education. The moment I heard that I had been offered sponsorship, all traces of tension and worry left me. I knew that if I worked hard I could achieve my dream of getting degree level education, thus improving my chances of getting a good job. I made up my mind that I would work hard, not only to pass, but to actually excel in all the subjects I did so that I would not struggle to get a government grant for university level education. The hard work paid off and now I can see my future is bright. Moreover, my ambition is to be able to help other young people whose dreams would vanish like mine nearly did had I not been given the wonderful opportunity to further my education. My aim is not only to take part, but also to encourage others within my generation where possible, to extend the hand of fellowship and help support other young women in a similar situation.”

Last year Nthabiseng joined the committee of the local non-profit organization that works with Educare Fund to reach as many young women from poor families in Lesotho so that they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty forever.

It is our hope that thiese and many more young women in Lesotho will benefit from the project and have stories like Nthabiseng's to tell in the future.

Once more, thank you for continuing to work with us. Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask any questions you may have.

 

Liphethiso Monica Harris

Dear everyone

The visit to Lesotho last month provided an opportunity for Liphethiso to meet some of the principals from the schools which have girls supported by Educare Fund. This was made possible by the fact that the teachers were in Maseru for one of their scheduled meetings. The consensus is that the support that Educare Fund gives to each girl has more impact than just helping the individual. This is because the money enables the school to manage its cash flow and as a result it is able to ‘carry’ other students who are also struggling to keep up the school fee payments. Thus, the support given reaches further than we imagined.

At the end of 2014, three girls wrote their GCSEs, thus graduating from high school. Ten girls wrote their year 10 exams and are set to continue on to write their GCSEs in just over eighteen months. 2016 looks like it could be a bumper year with potentially all 10 girls finishing high school!

Students at one of the schools (Lesia High School) took part in a short video expressing gratitude for the support given by you through Educare Fund and our partner organisation in Lesotho, Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association (IBEA). You can access the video on YouTube via this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo6kLYa6R6Y

The students express in their own words what the support from Educare Fund means to them. Of course we would not be able to do any of that without your support. I hope you enjoy the video!

I would really appreciate your comments on this and future reports. Any suggestions as to how best to help you help us would be very welcome. If there is any information you would like included in the reports or any questions about the project, please feel free to ask.

Once more, thank you for helping Educare Fund help the girls in Lesotho! 

Best regards

Liphethiso Monica

 

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Organization Information

Educare Fund

Location: Loughton, Essex - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Liphethiso Harris
Loughton, Essex United Kingdom
$46,517 raised of $54,000 goal
 
935 donations
$7,483 to go
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