The Words of the Sakala Family
Maseru, Lesotho -- Seeking to make a difference in the nation with the third-highest HIV-infection rate in the world, UPF-Lesotho is seeking funds to provide community-based care for orphans and sick adults in 20 villages that will enable them to have adequate food, gain an education, and generate income.
Southern Africa is the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, and Lesotho's infection rate of 23 percent is the third highest in the world. Lesotho has an estimated 180,000 orphans ages 18 and younger, and 100,000 of them are thought to have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS. These children need education, health and social services, shelter, food and food security, psychosocial care and support, and protection against abuse, child labor, and exploitation. UPF plans to assist households caring for them.
As an impoverished landlocked nation surrounded by Republic of South Africa, Lesotho is dependent on South Africa. For decades, its men have gone to South Africa to work in the mines, but with the recent economic downturn, miners who lost their jobs are returning home, many with HIV infections gained from partners other than their wives. Women and girls, who have fewer opportunities for employment, move to areas where they can earn money through sex. Many return home infected and ill. People who are HIV-positive need care and support, often including food, a place to live, and some means of gaining income. Those who are HIV-negative need education and counseling to keep from being infected.
Training is key to empowering people with knowledge and skills. Funds are needed to educate teams of people in each village to care for the sick and to buy home-care kits.
Education for the orphans will help empower them as future parents who can support their families. With education, they can help brighten the future of their nation. Funds are needed for the school fees and uniforms.
Income generating activities such as raising pigs and chickens will help provide for food as well as cover medical expenses and transportation to clinics. Other potential income-producing projects include candle making and sewing. Donations are needed for candle-making supplies, sewing machines, fabric, and supplies for tie-dying
UPF-Lesotho will work with village chiefs and community councils to review proposals and oversee the projects.
For more information contact
Rev. Darkwell Sakala
Secretary General, UPF-Lesotho
PO Box 450, Maseru 100
Lesotho, Southern Africa