By: Mpho Shelile

Maseru – The Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) celebrates a significant milestone with a graduation ceremony honouring local implementer organizations that have completed technical assistance programs.

This event marks a crucial moment in EGPAF’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations in their fight against paediatric AIDS.

During the ceremony, EGPAF recognizes the dedication and achievements of the participating implementer organizations.

These organizations undergo rigorous training and receive support to enhance their capabilities in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and support services.

Tšepang Mohlomi, the EGPAF Lesotho Country Director, passionately stresses the profound significance of last year’s graduation, noting that it marked an important milestone as the organization’s inaugural event of its kind.

She highlights how EGPAF has meticulously refined its expertise in programs addressing critical HIV/AIDS matters over the years, laying solid groundwork for its subsequent endeavors.

Reflecting on the TA program, Tšepang candidly shares that it posed an entirely novel challenge for the team in 2019, underscoring it as a pivotal and enlightening learning odyssey for the entire organization.

She does this extending her heartfelt congratulations to all the groups graduating this year, recognizing and paying homage to the tireless efforts of the EGPAF team in skilfully orchestrating this program.

Furthermore, she underscores EGPAF’s unwavering commitment by personally presenting certificates, a poignant gesture that serves as a tangible symbol of acknowledgment for the exceptional perseverance and unwavering dedication exhibited by the participating organizations.

Mohlomi poignantly observes that witnessing multiple organizations graduate at diverse levels of completion serves as a poignant testimony to their relentless pursuit of excellence and their invaluable contributions to advancing the foundation’s noble mission.

Through tailored technical assistance programs, EGPAF equips these organizations with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to deliver high-quality HIV/AIDS services effectively within their communities. 

By investing in the capacity-building of local implementers, EGPAF aims to empower communities to take ownership of their health outcomes and drive sustainable change in the fight against paediatric AIDS

Mohlomi extends EGPAF’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) in controlling HIV. She emphasizes that these programs are sustained, and their efforts are safeguarded. ‘As EGPAF, we continue to work collaboratively with our partners and implementers to achieve the 90/90/90 UNAIDS targets and go beyond,’ she concludes.

The graduation ceremony is a moment of celebration and reflection, where representatives from EGPAF and the honoured implementer organizations share stories of success, challenges overcome, and valuable lessons learned.

It underscores the power of collaboration and partnership in addressing complex global health issues.

Lehlohonolo Mohlaai, representing the local implementers from MATRIX, acknowledges the transformative journey they continue to experience under EGPAF’s guidance.

He expresses confidence that through continued collaborative efforts, they will effectively address the necessary work to enhance Lesotho’s database.

Moving forward, Matrix remains steadfast in its commitment to serving communities affected by HIV/AIDS. By nurturing partnerships and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, they aim to build a resilient and responsive healthcare system.

Regular refresher training for staff reinforces acquired skills and knowledge, and knowledge-sharing platforms facilitate ongoing growth.

On behalf of the project donors from USAID, Makananelo Kenoakae Pule in her remarks congratulates local implementers and EGPAF for their unwavering commitment to providing exceptional services to Basotho.

“As we continue on this journey,” she encourages everyone to explore sustainable approaches for maintaining this vital program.

“In conclusion, the graduation ceremony not only celebrates achievements but also reaffirms EGPAF’s unwavering dedication to empowering communities and ending paediatric AIDS. Through tireless collaborative efforts, EGPAF and its partners strive to create a brighter, healthier future for all, ensuring that no child is left behind in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”