NGOs join forces in tackling poverty
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.