So we went to Lesotho…
And one of the main reasons for going was to deliver goodies that all our readers had sent us for their rural school in a village on the hills of Lesotho. I can honestly say that it turned out that taking things to Lesotho was such a small part of our trip and that it turned out our trip was all about meeting people with completely different lives, a days drive away, hardly on the far side of the world. There was something wonderful about the friendships we made and I know we will have to return there again and again. I wanted to show you where all your gifts went and give you a picture of the school in Lesotho.
The advantage for children attending this school over other schools in the area is that it is an English Medium school, providing the children with a step into the outside world. I can say they spoke beautiful English and you would never have guessed that it wasn’t their first language. The couple of words we spoke in Sesotho, were appreciated and giggled at, but seriously their English was brilliant!!!
So let’s dive in and take a look: It is a village school run by the church we were visiting, serving the children in this village and the next. Many of the children are orphans, they have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and they can not afford school fees at all.
This is their main school room…
This is the pre-school classroom…
And this is the playground:
And here is one of their classroom posters:
While they have good teaching there school is not exactly full of facilities… In fact the entire time we were there we didn’t see a single shop-bought toy – not even one, no cars, no trucks, no dolls, and not a single book apart from the odd Bible in Church on Sunday… not a single book the entire time we were there. They don’t play like our kids from morning till night, they play in spurts… a dash of soccer and then lounge in the sunshine for a time and then another quick spurt. Where my kids usually play for much longer spells and it only occurred to me when we got home that they actually don’t have the nutrition to play all day… So spurts it is. They have the best opportunity to learn and invent and come up with creative toys and games of their own. And can these kids play!!! Everyone plays together, big and little, girls and boys:
Lots of clapping games: They love singing and clapping together:
And soccer is life… for many of these kids:
Any ball will do:
Wheels are just brilliant fun…
Jumping over elastic – we used to play this at school too!!!
Play houses (excuse the fence, it was next door!),
Skipping – is top!!! And if they play in a group then two older girls swing a long rope and every one jumps together…
The Champion toy is a plastic bottle on a string!!!
We didn’t see the kids receiving their toys from Nucleus toys because it was school holidays, but judging from their teachers reaction… tears of happiness I tell you… It was going to be one very special first day back at school.
National Geographic for Kids gave us piles of magazines:
To take and share out…
And though they have never seen a magazine before they got right into the spirit of NG Kids!!!
Now I have always thought in this great wide world that if my children could read then really they could do anything, even when times get tough they can vanish into a book and escape… If they can read they can learn anything and go anywhere and be anything… but while these kids have been taught to read there are no books, anywhere. How often do we just pop to the library… and grab a stack of books for the weekend… well these kids have none of that. There isn’t a library in the nearest town… in fact we didn’t even see a book for sale in a store. I wrote about the fabulous books that BIBLIONEF donated here before. And here are the kids getting there first taste of their books:
As we handed them round to read, they dropped to the ground and the buzz of little reading voices filled the air.
And this little one did not want to part with “Jamela…”
And the one thing that my kids spend hours and hours doing all day is drawing and writing and chopping and sticking… there was none of that going on there. Well Such a big thank you to all our readers for your overwhelming response. We had crayons and markers and posters and notebooks from all over the world: China, Singapore, Canada, the U.S.A… because but I bet there is a whole lot of art happening right now!!!
So a big thank you to NG Kids for the Magazines, to Nucleus Toys for all the toys, Books from BIBLIONEFSA, and all our wonderful readers for all the school goodies you sent!!! The crayons, the markers, the notebooks, the stationary… a trailer packed with goodies!!! I think with your help, you may have transformed a small country school in Lesotho and affected these young lives in ways that you cannot imagine.
Meanwhile they are very excited and busy building a new school… as there small school grows each year. The biggest problem with the school is the obvious lack of resources… resources that we take for granted. And because the children are not in a position to work and attend school at the same time, they simply cannot afford to pay school fees. I am wondering if any of our readers would be interested in supporting a student with their fees next school year (about $20 a month) and/or building a relationship with a particular child… swapping photographs and letters. If you are interested then please feel free to contact us. I am building a website to make this all possible… I think it would empower these children so much to know that there are people around the world who do support them and believe in them.