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Friends of Lesotho (FOL) is a non-profit organization promoting friendship between the peoples of Lesotho and North America. FOL is supported by former Peace Corps volunteers and others who share this desire. FOL provides scholarships and grants to small development projects in Lesotho, assists in locating old friends from Lesotho, and provides information about current events in Lesotho. FOL is affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association.

 


2014 Annual Meeting – March 16, 2014

Annual Meeting Announcement

 

Mark your calendar for March 16, 2014

Greetings Friend of Lesotho:  Please join the Friends of Lesotho Board of Directors for its Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 16, 2014 from 4:00 to 5:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

To participate via Conference Call, dial (626) 677-3000,  Access Code 599214

Agenda

 Opening Remarks,  FOL President Scott Rosenberg

Presentation of Annual Report

Treasurer’s Report

Election of Board of Directors

Speakers

The Honorable Molapi Sebatane, Lesotho Ambassador to the United States

(husband of Mrs. Lois Sebatane, Lesotho RPCV, 1967-1969)

Dr. Robert R. Edgar, Department of African Studies, Howard University

Board of Directors

Scott Rosenberg, Bill Moore, Kevin Caughlan, John Hollister, Christina Balch, Victor Cuevas, Kevin Freer,  Megan Kelly, Peter Neumann,  Dick Nystrom,  Zach Rosen, Richard Rowan, David Ruch, Andrew Steele, Madeline Uraneck

2013 Annual Report

THE BALLOT IS ON THE WEBSITE……PLEASE VOTE AT THIS LINK

http://www.friendsoflesotho.org/aboutfol/board-of-directors/board-vote/

If you have not set up your username, use:  folmember and khotso as the password.

In Memoriam – Thomas Maresco

From (Khotso September 2012)

In Memoriam – Thomas Maresco
In Memoriam – Thomas Maresco

September 3rd will mark two years since ED10 Volunteer Tom Maresco was killed in Maseru. It is a tragic and somber anniversary, which I am sure Tom’s friends and family will be marking in different ways. Here in Lesotho staff and three of the Volunteers who were serving at the time will lay flowers at the site where Tom died. Tom as a vivacious person who left a positive impression on all who met him. His is missed by many and certainly by those of us in Lesotho who knew him. Please keep Tom’s family in your thoughts.

Khotso,
Kathy Jacquart Dill,
Country Director

 

FOL donation to NHTC coverage

From the Lesotho Times:

Friends of Lesotho donate to NHTC

1 Feb 2012

By Staff Reporter

 

MASERU — Twenty-eight students from the National Health Training College (NHTC) on Monday received US$6 000 (M42 000) from a United States-based charity organisation, Friends of Lesotho (FOL).

Friends of Lesotho is a non-profit organisation of former US Peace Corps volunteers who served in Lesotho from the 1970s to the present.

The donation is meant to help non-resident students pay for their housing and transport costs.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Maseru, US Ambassador Michele Bond said FOL created a scholarship fund to help current NHTC students.

Bond said the donation comes at a time when the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is building additional dormitories at the NHTC.

“As important as clinics, hospitals and other structures are, it is Basotho health care professionals who are on the front line fighting the battle.

“They need support,” Bond said.

She said the students who had received the donations were selected on the basis of academic merit and financial need.

Speaking at the same occasion, NHTC deputy director, Tahisha Tarr, said this year’s donation was made possible through Janice Stapleton, who was teaching at the college.

Tarr urged the beneficiaries to use the money wisely “so that you continue to excel in your studies”.

“It does not end in the classroom; you should extend this privilege you have to make sure that you are committed to providing excellent health care to your patients” Tarr said.

One of the beneficiaries, Palesa Mathe, told the Lesotho Times that she was happy to receive the money.

Mathe said the gift came at the right time when there was lack of equipment at the college forcing students to seek practice at local hospitals.

“I wish that the Friends of Lesotho could prosper and manage to increase the number of students they are helping,” Mathe said.

FOL was formed in 1986 by a small group of former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Lesotho in the 1960s and 70s.

The organisation currently has about 400 members from all over United States.

LCCU Fire

The Lesotho Child Counseling Unit (LCCU) emergency orphan shelter had a major fire this past month—just as it was making preparations to celebrate its 10th anniversary. LCCU is located in Mazenod, on the road to the airport. This large shelter had been the dream of founder, Lydia Muso, since she opened LCCU in her own home in 2001 to care for some of Lesotho’s most vulnerable children. It was completed in 2008, thanks in large part to a significant donation from Standard Bank of Lesotho and many other U.S. and international donors.

We have not been able to reach Lydia by phone since receiving her e-mail about the fire. These pictures were taken by Rose Paradise, a former PCV and founder of Little Angels who has lived in Lesotho since 2003. Here is an excerpt from Rose’s e-mail to me.  “From what Lydia told me it happened last Friday, the 11th. She said that she and the children were in the kitchen watching TV, when around 8pm a boy came running to the compound yelling ‘mollo’. The fire apparently started in the laundry room (her theory), which is on the other side of the building. It took the Fire Dept some time to get there from Maseru. When they arrived the building was pretty much destroyed. After that the fire engine from the airport showed up…with very little water…they’re practically across the street. Lydia thinks it started because of faulty wiring to the dryer, but nothing has been proven and the police haven’

t really investigated, nor do they have a Fire Marshal able to determine the real cause of the fire. The police have actually accused Lydia of starting the fire…based on the fact that she was not crying and ranting and raving…why would she start the fire?? For what good reason is what I want to know? There was no insurance on the property. Apparently she let it lapse. Thank God no one was hurt. As you can see, the building is gutted. All the furnishings are gone, clothing, toys, everything gone. To add insult to injury: the people who came to help stole all the blankets that were saved.

The house where LCCU used to be also burned down last Sunday. She had some of her nieces stay there and apparently they had some boys over. She thinks one of the boys is responsible for this fire. She suspects smoking. The police have the boy (about 20 years old) in custody. Now the children are living in her house, currently 21 of them.

When I talked to her she was totally out of it as if she was in shock..not surprising given the circumstances. She says that whenever she goes to town people are asking her why she set her house on fire?

The children at LCCU are not just orphans trying to fend for themselves in their home villages.  They have suffered severe abuse inflicted by extended family members and others in their village.  Many are victims of beatings, rape, forced marriages and child trafficking.  Some are brought to LCCU by the police or social agencies in order to protect them and receive counseling to begin the process of healing.

Scott Rosenberg, FOL Board Member and Professor at Ohio’s Wittenberg University, has travelled to Lesotho with students for many years.  This beautiful dorm was one of many projects undertaken by his students. Scott has already begun reaching out to the generous donors from his local rotary who have supported LCCU in the past.  The Rotary president is travelling to Lesotho for another project but will meet with a trusted general contractor for an assessment of repair costs.  BloomAfrica,  a fundraising service group formed by some of Scott’s former students, will also be contacted for help.

FOL’s Donation’s Committee met this past Sunday and is recommending an initial contribution of $6,000 and has begun contacting a number of other non-profit groups working in Lesotho to enlist their support as well.

If you haven’t already made an end-of-year donation to FOL in response to our annual appeal letter, please consider doing so today on behalf of the children of Lesotho Child Counseling Unit.

If you would like more details about LCCU, you can go to our website and download the slideshow presentation prepared for FOL’s 25th anniversary reunion held in D.C. at the end of September.  From the FOL website home page http://www.friendsoflesotho.org/, click on 25th Anniversary Reunion. Slideshow presentations can be found at the bottom of that page.

I was a volunteer with LCCU between 2003 and 2006. The picture of Lydia at the left with baby Keke was taken a few months after she came to LCCU malnourished and near death from alleged sexual abuse.

Thank you for your concern and generosity, on behalf of Lydia Muso, the children of LCCU and the Board of Friends of Lesotho.

Dyann Van Dusen, FOL Vice President (dyvandusen@yahoo.com)