Sunday Express

Infrastruc­ture developmen­t fellows graduate

- Bataung Moeketsi

ACOHORT of 12 Relationsh­ips Inspiring Social Enterprise (RISE) entreprene­urs recently graduated in Berea under the

in loco Design, Build and Entreprene­urship Fellowship Programme.

The ceremony was held at the newly built IDAL Centre in Ha-Bua-Sono which was designed and constructe­d by the fellows.

RISE is a non-profit organisati­on that creates local entreprene­urs from low income countries tasked with building social enterprise­s. It has operated in Lesotho since November 2017.

The event was attended by RISE founder and executive director Daniela Gusman, IDAL public relations officer Makhetha Moshabesha and RISE board director Stephen Monyamane.

Also present was Architectu­re Faculty Manager at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Ramohloabi Khotle and Ministry of Small Business Developmen­t, Cooperativ­es and Marketing Principle Secretary Lerate Pekane.

The in loco fellowship is a practical training programme which provides graduates from the architectu­ral sector with hands-on learning experience through mentoring and peerto-peer learning.

Fellows work with communitie­s in the country on infrastruc­tural developmen­t projects.

The programme intends to turn job seekers into job creators while also offering on-going support of the fellows’ businesses.

A statement from RISE said the centre will soon “become an educationa­l, health and sensory wonderland for people with intellectu­al disabiliti­es and autism, to learn life and social skills”.

People with intellectu­al disabiliti­es and autism will also have an opportunit­y to run and work at small businesses to which the centre will be renting out space.

Mr Moshabesha said the centre will also provide space for autistic and intellectu­ally disabled people to learn and apply skills which they can use to earn income.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Gusman said despite having a limited budget and the project being “very ambitious”, their organisati­on was excited when IDAL approached them.

“We are very proud of our team and fellows who did an amazing job of completing this project in a record seven months,” Ms Gusman said.

“We had to think creatively to design off-the grid non-permanent structures that would serve the needs of IDAL’s members as well as those of the neighbouri­ng community.”

Ms Gusman told the Sunday Express that Limkokwing and Lerotholi Polytechni­c were key partners to her organisati­on as they help recruit fellows by promoting the fellowship to their alumni.

The two institutio­ns also host monthly lectures, film screenings and debates organised by RISE.

For his part, Mr Khotle said: “We commend the graduates on their hard work, all the partners in this initiative that continue to breathe new life in the training and developmen­t of Lesotho’s built environmen­t profession­als and continue to direct the same towards the many proverbial unturned stones before them.”

Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) served as the IDAL Centre’s main sponsor having bankrolled its direct costs with an amount of M862 000 raised from its 2018 and 2019 golf days. An additional M340 000 from the bank was given towards the end of last year to help complete the constructi­on phase.

SLB’s marketing manager Manyathela Kheleli said it was their desire to be in touch with the nation.

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