Schools Helping Schools in Africa
Engaging Students as Global Citizens
“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rests the cornerstone of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”
Help Lesotho values education as a main component in alleviating poverty and creating an AIDS-free generation in Lesotho. By supporting the formal education system and delivering educational programs of excellence in informal settings, vulnerable children, youth and adults acquire the information and practical tools to deal with their formidable challenges. As people learn to think for themselves, they become more autonomous, confident and responsible, and more able to take on leadership roles in their communities.
The Schools Helping Schools Program was one of the first programs launched when Help Lesotho was founded. Since 2004, thousands of children and youth have benefited from such support as classroom construction/repair, uniforms and shoes, classroom supplies, textbooks, rain barrels, blankets and toothbrushes! For many Basotho students, the friendship and tangible support they receive from their ‘Canadian friends’ reminds them that they have not been forgotten. While the provision of desks, books and uniforms is critical, it is the restoration of hope for a brighter future that makes the biggest difference.
Help Lesotho works with 17 partner schools in Lesotho (11 primary and 6 high schools), all of whom are in desperate need of support. Partner schools are chosen on the basis of leadership and commitment to providing children with the safest and most effective learning environments and strategies.
Fundraising and Learning Opportunities
There are many opportunities for Canadian schools to get involved with the Schools Helping Schools in Africa program. Whether through a one-time project or an ongoing partnership, IT IS POSSIBLE to make a difference for students in Lesotho.
Below is a list from which you might choose one or more ways to get involved. Each opportunity can be customized to fit your goals and desired student outcomes. Help Lesotho provides resources specifically related to your projects of choice, including access to our huge digital photo library, Basotho activity books (primary level), slide shows and PowerPoint presentations on various topics. Communication between students in Lesotho and Canada is an important element of all Schools Helping Schools programs because it helps build a community of students committed to global learning and taking action for the benefit of others.
- School Communities – Canadian schools are ‘twinned’ to a vulnerable school community in Lesotho. Projects are determined based on annual learning themes, such as oral hygiene, warmth and safety, and WASH (water, hygiene, sanitation).
- Graduating Girls – Classes can fundraise to help a girl in Lesotho graduate from high school while learning about gender equity and the many challenges that girls in developing countries face.
- Youth Empowerment in Schools (YES) Clubs – Students can learn about HIV/AIDS, gender equity, and youth leadership while raising funds for these unique life skills clubs in Lesotho.
- Education Support Fund – Students will learn to appreciate the value of getting a high school education as they learn about the many challenges that students in Lesotho face. The Education Support Fund provides one-time support to vulnerable students who would not otherwise be able to continue their education.
- Leadership Camp – Classes can send students in Lesotho to Leadership Camp while learning about the topics the students in Lesotho learn about, including self-esteem, peer pressure, and making healthy decisions.
- Teacher Training – Help students learn about the struggles that teachers in Lesotho face while helping to raise funds to give teachers learning materials to use in their classrooms.
- Pearls4Girls – organize a Pearl Bee with your class to explore leadership and the importance of empowering girls and women. Depending on your location, a Pearls4Girls volunteer may be able to come give a presentation and run the Pearl Bee.
Help Lesotho can support your campaigns/events including such elements as:
- A Seshoeshoe ‘fashion show’ (the traditional dresses of Lesotho)
- Traditional Basotho items (blankets, crafts, art, etc.)
- School uniforms and shoes from Lesotho (ripped and ruined pieces that have since been replaced)
- 1-minute monologues of students in Lesotho
- Slide shows and PowerPoint presentations on various topics
- Presentations by Help Lesotho staff on various topics (location dependent)
- A huge digital photo library