By Mots’elisi Sekonyela
Hands of Life Cycling is a youth-led, non-governmental organization founded by Ts’epo Nkhabu in 2012 for the purposes of positively impacting the lives of young people in Mafeteng through safe cycling education, vocational events and life skills.
As said by Nkhabu, this organization aims to shape youth to be pioneers, innovators, and entrepreneurs and help them understand their roles in their communities as well as be responsible citizens.
This center, funded by the United States Embassy in Lesotho with over 200 thousand Maloti, will be officially launched on February 10th 2022 in the presence of the U.S ambassador to Lesotho, Maria Brewer, as well as government officials and business people such as then Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development, Pitso Lesaoana, and BAM Group CEO, Nts’epeng Ts’ita Tikiso respectively.
The facility offers cycling education, equipment, free WiFi for research and study purposes as well as leadership sessions to young people in Mafeteng. The initial idea for a resource center was first incepted by the founder in 2020 wherein he rented an old building in the Mafeteng town CBD through a sponsorship of up to five years’ worth of rent from yet another international body, Living P.U.R.P.O.S.E, inc.
The center was further developed and renovated in 2022 by funding from the U.S Embassy worth over M200,000. When asked why he opted for international funding, Nkhabu said he cannot expect much from an unstable government of Lesotho and urged other young people to also opt for global funding for their projects instead of only focusing on the government.
“As young people of Lesotho we have to start thinking globally and stop narrowing our ambitions to fit only the local scope. There are very willing global funders for African youth projects. All we have to do is research, and write convincing proposals and we might just get lucky like I did,” said Nkhabu.
He attributes his successful international funding requests to his unique ability to write compelling proposals that seldom get declined.
This young man has also been part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which is the United States’ signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. With this program, young people from across Africa get selected for a six week long fully-funded leadership training in the United States.
He is currently enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree program in Business Administration with the University of the People in California, United States of America.