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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

Educare Fund wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope you had a pleasant festive season.

Many of you kindly supported Educare Fund during the GivingTuesday campaign, a collabotaion between GlobalGiving and Microsoft which was held on the 2nd december 2014. Together you helped us raise £755, inclusive of matching funds and the UK Giftaid. This is a handsome amount to raise in one day and we would not have done it without your kind help.The sum raised could pay annual school fees for up to seven girls!

December is the end of the school year in Lesotho. Those in the final year of high school wrote their exams and are now awaiting the results. This year 5 girls sat their year 12 exams and are now about to find out how they have done and what bright future awaits. Our hope is that all 5 will have successfully prepared their way toward a brighter future which you have all helped to shape. Two girls wrote their year 10 exams, leading to progression to year 11 and on to the final year of high school. 

In the previous report I indicated that the process of recruiting new girls, administering the distribution of funds to the schools as well as obtaining feedback from the beneficiaries was proving to be an increasing challenge for Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association (IBEA),our sister organisation in Lesotho. You will be pleased to know that you have helped to solve the problem. During the December visit to Lesotho, Liphethiso worked with the local team to 'set up shop'  in a shared office as a base for IBEA to operate from. A laptop and a printer had already been procured, so it made sense to engage an office assistant to support the secretary and 'man' the 'office'. The hope is that the collection of feedback, among other things, will be a lot easier in the future. Needless to say, none of this would have been possible without your very kind support. 

The 'office' has only been operating since the beginning of January, but we are already reaping the benefits. The letters in the attached document are proof of that and we hope that we will be able to gather more feedback to share with you in the future. The letters highlight the importance of the work made possible by your kind and generous donations. Some of the girls even express their hope that in future they may also be in a position to help someone else. 

I hope you find the students' words inspiring, as I did. May 2015 prove to be as successful a year as last year was so that together we can continue to help more girls In Lesotho to a brighter future.


Attachments:

This year with your help, Educare Fund has been able to raise enough money to afford a further increase in the support given to our young women in Lesotho to include book hire and book purchase. Reports from the schools’ principals and feedback they have received from the parents of the young women indicate that this extra help is highly appreciated.

During her last visit to Lesotho, Liphethiso visited a couple of the schools which have girls sponsored by Educare Fund. As on previous occasions, chatting to the sponsored girls confirmed the impact that the support is having on the individual young person’s performance at school. Over and over again Liphethiso heard the girls mentioning the fact that knowing that school fees can now be afforded meant that they no longer have to worry about being laid off school because of inability to pay.

Our efforts to further reduce the fee burden for the parents of the girls we sponsor continue on. With the recommendation of our sister organisation in Lesotho, Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association (IBEA), it was decided that funding for at least one item of school uniform for each sponsored girl should be considered. Thus, from the beginning of 2015 this additional help will be offered. Again, this is only possible because of your continuing support of Educare Fund.

Ithuteng Basetsana continues to help Educare Fund with operational matters such as distributing the funds, collecting and collating feedback from the schools, the young women and their parents as well as attempting to follow up those who finished high school in previous years. These tasks take up a considerable amount of time for the secretary who up to now has been handwriting all the information and then had to do the whole thing over again when new information is available. It was decided that a laptop and printer would make it easier for the secretary to do the updates as well as email the information to Educare Fund when needed. Communication with the schools should also be easier whether it be my post or by email depending on the individual school’s available resources. This equipment was procured during Lipthethiso’s visit to Lesotho in August.

I was lost for words to express our gratitude for your generous support for Educare Fund when among the letters of appreciation by the young women I came across a poem written by one of them. Tlalane at Lesia High School decided to write a poem instead of a letter. Here is part of the poem she wrote:

                   Deep feelings of gratitude

                   For your companionate offer

                   Offer to be educated

                   This is a great opportunity to me

                   To my family

                  To my boon companions, and

                   To the nation as a whole

                             

I definitely cannot put it better than Tlalane has done, but I would like to add that we at Educare Fund feel really honoured that you continue to help us to support these girls in their quest to achieve the best they can.

 

Once more, thank you for your kind help.

 

Liphethiso Harris

It gives me great pleasure, once again, to have this opportunity to update you on how Educare Fund is continuing to support young women in Lesotho to finish high school and where possible go on to higher education.

On my last visit to Lesotho in April this year I was fortunate enough to get a chance to visit a couple of schools that were within a reasonable distance from Maseru where I was based. Every time I talk to the teachers and the students we support, I am amazed by the extent to which all those I spoke to reaffirm the importance of the support.  From the school principal's vantage point, it would appear that the impact of the award for one student extends beyond the individual in that the school as a whole benefits. The students are happy to get the support as it guarantees them a place at the school and ensures that they no longer have to worry about the dreaded periods of being laid off school for non-payment of fees. The teachers confirm that the girls who get support definitely do better because they are able to relax and get on with their studies rather than continually think about the possibility of being laid off school.

This year, for the first time in the life of Educare Fund your very kind support has enabled us to give extra funds to help with book purchase for 8 girls and book hire for a further 8. Lack of funding for books was identified as yet another problem for the young women in their endeavours to complete high school. With more of your help, Educare Fund will continue to extend this support to more girls.

During my visit to Lesotho I was introduced to another young woman who finished high school with the help of Educare Fund. Below is an extract of my email conversation with Mpho:

  1. What sort of life would you have had if you hadn't had educational
    support from Educare? 

>>I could have struggled to pay my fees obviously, and you know that time of the quarter when all those who have not paid are sent home, to get the fees, then at the end of the day, end up having lost sometime, which could have been used for reading and attending classes. Luckily for me with the help of Educare, I never experienced that.



2. What is your current job and position? 

>> I am currently working as Financial Systems Specialist, in the ICT department. What I basically do is to work as the first line of support to users on all financial applications that our Company has.


3. How many people in your extended family stand to benefit from your
success i.e. how many are likely to look for support from you? 

>> I am from a family with just two children, that's me and my younger brother. We have been raised by our grandmother with the help of our uncles. so currently, my grandmother and my brother, do get support from me. then my two children.


4. Do you think Educare Fund should do more (or less) to support young
women in Education?

>>I think they should do more, because it’s through their financial support that me and others managed to make something out of our lives.


5. Any other information you want to share??  

>>I finished my first degree in 2007, then got married in 2008, I have two lovely boys... Completed my honors degree in Technology Management 2011. Still considering to do my masters...

One other young woman who finished high school thanks to support by Educare Fund is also on the verge of starting a part-time post graduate degree, with a university in South Africa. 

 I hope this report illustrates the fact that your money is achieving a huge amount and is definitely changing lives for the young women in Lesotho. Please continue the good work of supporting these young people so they in their turn can change the lives of those they become responsible for.

 Educare Fund continues to appreciate your kind support.

Since it was founded in 1997, Educare Fund has supported a total of 326 young women in Lesotho. In that first year there was only one girl sponsored and only one donor. Over the years the number of girls increased as did the number of donors. The number of girls who finish high school each year varies according to the proportion of students in year 12 in that particular year’s cohort. Since 2008 the number of finishers has ranged between 5 and 10 students. A number of these have managed to reach university level although we do not have the full list of those who completed this level of education. We are aware of 3 young ladies who successfully completed their degree level education. One of these young ladies has joined the committee of our sister charity in Lesotho (Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association) and is helping to facilitate the work of Educare Fund. In general, the attrition rate has been fairly low, with only a few students dropping out of school for other reasons than non-payment of fees. We are aware of 4 to 5 such cases since Educare Fund started its work in Lesotho.

Thanks to your continuing support, Educare Fund has increased the number of students supported in the current year to a total of 45. We hope to be in a position to add 5 more girls to bring the number to 50 students at the beginning of the 2015 school year. As reported earlier, Educare Fund now offers support with book hire and book purchase for the girls on our programme. We should be in a position to assess the impact this extra help is having later on the year.

Earlier in the month Educare Fund took part in the Global Giving UK 50% Bonus week (3rd to 10th March 2014). This raised £761, excluding matching funds. This would not have been achieved without your very kind support, so once again, thank you for supporting Educare Fund. We are very proud to have you on our side!

Liphethiso Harris

Christmas message from Educare Fund It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to communicate with you again on behalf of Educare Fund. I would like to extend our gratitude to all our donors for all your support during what has turned out to be a very successful fundraising year for Educare Fund. Thanks to your kind support we are looking forward to an increase in the number of girls who will receive support from Educare Fund in 2014. In January the total number of girls will increase to 45. As already indicated, with your help, we will start to pay for book hire for years 8 to 10 as well as help pay for books for students in years 11 and 12 who do not have access to book hire. The latter will get their books paid for with the proviso that the books are left at the school when the girls finish. This way the books can, as far as possible, be used by other students in subsequent years. All the students on our list will receive assistance with funds toward stationery purchase. We hope that this will further reduce the financial burden that poorer families have to bear in to their kids through to the end of high school. My current visit to Lesotho has enabled me to get feedback from local individuals with a connection to Educare Fund. The conversations I have had further emphasise the importance of continuing the work of educational support for the girls in Lesotho. Mampe was supported by Educare Fund in 1998 and 1999. She had 5 siblings, 4 of whom were at high school at that time. One parent was working while the other was not in paid employment. An older sibling had completed high school (paid for by the family). She had gone on to university level education with the help of a government loan and was now starting a postgraduate programme. For her to secure further government funding, she and the family had to first pay off the loan for her undergraduate studies. The result was that paying school fees for the other children including Mampe became a big struggle. Mampe was laid off school several times because of non-payment of fees (this is a common occurrence for children from poorer families). With support from Educare Fund Mampe finished high school and went on to university. She now works in a government department and is able to support other people in both her own and her husband’s family. 10 or more people currently benefit from her success. Mampe is a strong supporter of girl education and volunteers time to help Ithuteng Basetsana Educare Association, a local charity working with Educare Fund. She feels that good education enables girls from poor families to avoid such things as being married off at an early age. Local custom requires the payment of a bride price (Lobola), which means for some poor families, girl children may be seen as a possible source of income. Better education, in Mampe’s view also empowers the girls to become independent strong adults with the ability to make appropriate decisions about their own lives and those of their offspring. She believes that without support from Educare Fund she would most likely have been pushed into an early marriage and would probably be in a low paid job with no chance of supporting anyone else. I also had a conversation with one of the schools’ principals who knows firsthand what difficulties poorer families run into in their struggle to secure a good education for their kids. Although his is a low fee school (+/- £65 per year), some parents still find it difficult to raise the money for the fees. It is part of his job to lay off school those children with fees outstanding. In his own words, he does this when absolutely unavoidable and always with a heavy heart. Wherever possible he tries to find funding for these kids and feels that the support that Educare Fund provides makes a huge difference to the children, freeing them from worry about being laid off school. This was confirmed by one of the school’s ex-students who obtained a very good first class pass at GCSE level and is now applying to do an international baccalaureate with a view to continuing on to degree level. The principal also said that working with Educare Fund has inspired him to explore ways in which he could help support these young people. The consensus is that the support for the young women makes a huge difference to them and is very highly appreciated by the girls, the schools and the families. In my view this is the green light for all of us involved in this project to carry on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting Educare Fund in this project and to wish you all the very best for this festive season. I sincerely hope that you will continue to help educate the girls in Lesotho.

 

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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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