I have been wondering how you have all been during these unprecedented times. I am aware that the current pandemic has affected all our lives. It is a pleasant surprise to observe that, in spite of the difficulties that come with the Covid-19 pandemic, you continue to support the girls in Lesotho. In fact, a few of you donated for the first time during the last two to three months of the pandemic, demonstrating how thoughtful your generosity truly is.
In my last report, I gave you an update on how the girls were doing and how your kind support continues to make a huge difference to their lives and those of their families. I reported that, despite the difficulties resulting from a year of teachers‘ strikes, most of the girls had managed to pass their exams and either finish high school or proceed to the next class. Covid-19 has added another layer of difficulty for the girls and their families. Because of the lockdown, parents or guardians have been off work, and some may not have jobs to return to when the lockdown is lifted. Schools have been closed and there is currently no clarity as to when they will properly reopen or whether or not end-of-year exams will take place. In spite of all this, schools still require the fees to be paid. The same applies to exam fees.
Because the girls are not at school, we are not able to obtain feedback from them directly, but our partner organisation in Lesotho reports that current events will present a number of problems. We anticipate that 2021 will be another difficult year for our cohort of girls and their families, and we need to plan ahead to increase the level of support, should this be necessary. The good news is that thanks to your generous donations, we are optimistic that we will be able to meet this extra funding requirement for at least one year. We couldn’t do it without you.
We truly appreciate your commitment to the girls we are jointly supporting. We can never thank you enough.