NGOs join forces in tack­ling poverty

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

WORLD Vi­sion Le­sotho and Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Le­sotho re­cently signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a five year strate­gic plan aimed at re­duc­ing poverty among the most vul­ner­a­ble groups in Le­sotho. Ni­co­las Ahad­jie, the Coun­try Pro­gramme Di­rec­tor of World Vi­sion Le­sotho, said they had agreed with Habi­tat to “iden­tify vul­ner­a­ble house­holds that need a roof over their heads” and build the houses for them over a five year pe­riod up to 2020. “Based on this MOU we have signed with Habi­tat, we are go­ing to share our pro­grammes in seven dis­tricts in Le­sotho and this five-year strat­egy will iden­tify vul­ner­a­ble house­holds that need a roof over their heads. The dis­tricts are ButhaButhe, Leribe, Mo­hale’s Hoek, Berea, Maseru Ru­ral, Mafeteng, and Quthing. World Vi­sion’s cur­rent strat­egy fo­cuses on health, ed­u­ca­tion, liveli­hoods, build­ing re­silience within the house­holds and in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tivi- ties as well as wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion pro­grammes for schools and for house­holds.

The new strat­egy with Habi­tat aims to en­sure that 550 000 chil­dren in the dis­tricts will en­joy sus­tain­able and im­proved well­be­ing and the fam­i­lies have qual­ity of life.

“Each year all these dis­tricts will de­ter­mine the num­ber of houses that need to be con­structed and each or­gan­i­sa­tion will bud­get ac­cord­ingly,” Mr Ahad­jie said.

“We re­alise that this is a daunt­ing task and one or­gan­i­sa­tion can­not ac­com­plish this within a time frame of five years. There­fore, we went into a strate­gic part­ner­ship with agen­cies whose mis­sions are in line with our mis­sion,” Mr Ahad­jie said.

“We recog­nise Habi­tat as one of our strate­gic part­ners to en­sure qual­ity of life, based on their am­bi­tion and their goals.”

Mr Ahad­jie also said they would not pro­vide fur­ni­ture in the houses they would con­struct but they would in­stead em­power peo­ple to come up with in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to en­able them to buy the nec­es­sary ad­di­tions they need.

“First, we will need to un­der­stand the liveli­hoods of the com­mu­ni­ties; what skill set do peo­ple have? What in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are peo­ple in­ter­ested in?

“Then peo­ple will be grouped ac­cord­ing to their re­spec­tive in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and we will then take them through busi­ness devel­op­ing pro­cesses to en­able them to un­der­stand how to man­age their busi­nesses. We will give them startup cap­i­tal.”

He said progress would be mon­i­tored dur­ing the train­ing process and tech­ni­cal advice would be con­tin­u­ously avail­able to help com­mu­ni­ties fur­ther im­prove their busi­ness ven­tures.

World Vi­sion cur­rently has 270 staff mem­bers in each of the seven dis­tricts to mon­i­tor the busi­ness progress in the com­mu­ni­ties.

“If you help them put up a house and don’t give them in­come, how will they un­der­stand how to main­tain their home? So, there must be a link­age with other ex­ist­ing pro­grammes to make it sus­tain­able,” Mr Ahad­jie said.

Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Le­sotho is a non­profit, ec­u­meni­cal Chris­tian or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to elim­i­nat­ing poverty by creat­ing hous­ing so­lu­tions for the vul­ner­a­ble.

Since 2001, Habi­tat Le­sotho has part­nered with more than 1750 house­holds to build their strength, sta­bil­ity and sel­f­re­liance through shel­ter in nine out of the coun­try’s 10 dis­tricts.

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