By Nthabiseng Ratalane

The SOS Children’s Village Lesotho held 5 years strategic meeting of 2023 last week Friday in Maseru. The purpose of the meeting was to ensure continuity for their work which entails providing best care for children, to innovate and unite more partners so that no child grows up alone.

The board chair in the SOS children’s Village Mrs. Mateboho Makhesa their key ambition strategy is becoming more successful and continuing flourishing as an organization.

Throughout the years, SOS Children’s Village in Lesotho has faced challenges of helping children integrate into society. The organization’s goal is to therefore allocate children to vast families and support the process of child adaption. To achieve this, participatory monitory evaluation (PM&E) is implemented to track and monitor projects, correct work direction, and improve operations based on children’s feedback. This approach, empowers project stakeholders, particularly children, by providing them with participatory and decision-making power, ultimately ensuring project sustainability. Furthermore, PM&E enhances the transparency of the operating system and safeguards the rights of children.

The National Director of SOS Mrs. ‘Malehasa Mafisa mentioned that, in 2016 the organization set off with two goals. In 2021 a third goal was added to demonstrate their commitment and priority in safeguarding the federation, as well as to transparently reflect their increased work on safeguarding; they ensure that children have a loving home and an equal chance to succeed in life.

Strategy 2030 Review project, launched in January 2019, culminated in 5 focal priority areas for  SOS’s ,2021 to 2024 improving the quality of their programme, raising adequate income to implement the changes required and extending our impact as a result. These 5 Prioritiesreflect the results of an in-depth analysis of the key achievements and learning outcomes over the last four years, as well as the trends that continue to shape the external environment, either directly or indirectly. Inputs received through mid-term planning of member associations as well as through joint discussions at the Come Together II meeting of June 2019, also contributed to defining the 5 Priorities. To ensure programme quality and local relevance, grow and diversify income, empower people to live their values and uphold their safeguarding commitments, build partnerships to scale up their impact and embrace digitalization.

Additionally all this they are doing through their five pillars; Alternative family strengthening where by assistance is provided to families with the aim of strengthening their ability to provide, nurturing and care for the children. They also aim to increase families’ strength and resilience by promoting healthy child development and minimize the risk of separation and recourse to alternative care. Youth empowerment includes strategies which give young people opportunities for meaningful involvement and participation in their education or support services.

A living testimony from SOS children’s village alumni Mr. Malebo Mathetha who arrived at SOS at a very young age with his twin and siblings, now a Limkonkwing University graduate said that life after leaving the organization was not easy as they had to adapt to living in the outside world. However after he finished his studies, he volunteered at DHL and later on obtained a job at World Bank where he is to date.

“I received so much support at SOS Children’s Villages, They played a very important role in my life as a little boy. My SOS family gave me a good foundation, I am who and where I am today because of them. I was equipped with the necessary skills to strive and take on the world on my own.”

Mr. Mathetha with brothers and sisters from the organization now have formed a network group called Audacious Leaders Network, a youth-led non-profit making organization which aims at bringing change and development. It is committed to empowering and equipping young women and youth with social entrepreneurship, leadership trainings community engagement and dialogues in an effort to promoting young women’s participation in governance and civic engagements. The initiative is female-centric and focuses on empowering girls to be involved in the civic and political participation of Lesotho.  

The vision of this organization is to envision a world where youth and women are co-creators, co-leaders and advocates. Equally important, they were offer free counseling services from different psychologists.