Seotlong Centre – Pitseng
GOAL: To provide a safe and happy environment for people to heal, grow and learn.
DESCRIPTION: Construction of the Pitseng Centre was funded by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association. Located in a corn field on land donated by the Anglican Diocese, the modest Centre is a support base for the rural community of Pitseng. Open from Monday-Saturday, the Seotlong Centre welcomes community members of all ages. An advisory committee of 2 youth, 2 grandmothers, 2 school principals, 2 chiefs and 2 Help Lesotho staff members meet quarterly to ensure programs meet the identified needs of the community.
RATIONALE: Pitseng is a remote community with almost no social support structures for the thousands of orphans, vulnerable children and grandmothers in the surrounding villages. The Centre is a visual representation of stability to the community of Help Lesotho’s long-term commitment to these rural villages. The Seotlong Centre was established to fill a void in the Pitseng community by building a place where people can learn and feel supported by other members of their community. Seotlong means ‘a place to share ideas’.
CORE ACTIVITIES: The Centre’s innovative programming includes literacy, leadership, life skills and health education.
Children: story-time, library resources, dance club, educational games.
Youth: tutoring, library resources, games, sports, debates, drama club.
Adults: Grandmother Days, health education, partner meetings and community events.
Programs range from daily drop-in opportunities to weekly courses. Many community events and sport days are hosted at the Centre.
APPROACH: The Centre is an investment in the people of Pitseng, recognizing that the most constructive and sustainable form of development is when people learn to become decision-makers and problem-solvers. When given the support to address barriers to health and growth, people can rise above suffering, find hope and create a future together. In this open and inviting space, community members are encouraged to access programming that increases their knowledge and ability to be successful, healthy individuals.
IMPACT: The Centre is strongly supported by the Pitseng community and is highly praised by the King of Lesotho for the difference it is making in the region. Over 3000 community members benefit from its services each year. The Centre is the meeting place for those who have nowhere else to go, is a link between schools, and fosters hope in the rural villages. It is a place of healing and of community.
Pitseng Centre Gallery