Ambassador Matthew T. Harrington inaugurated a block of two classrooms at Ranthoto Primary School in Thaba-Tseka District on June 5, 2017. The classrooms were constructed with a grant of $8,318 (approximately M115,500) from the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund and will provide additional instructional space for approximately 200 students.
At the inauguration, Ambassador Harrington said, “The substantial U.S. support for these kinds of projects over the years is testament to the strong connection between the people of the United States and the Basotho people, as well as our shared commitment to building a prosperous future for Lesotho’s children.”
Since 2010 the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund has awarded $459,000 (approximately M5,967,000) in grants to community groups and schools in Lesotho that are working to improve the basic economic and social conditions of their villages, schools, or communities. Grants are awarded once a year to projects that demonstrate local initiative and self-sustainability. Typical projects have included the construction of classrooms, health clinics and community centers, agricultural projects, boreholes, and pit latrines.
The U.S. Embassy supports projects throughout Lesotho. In Thaba-Tseka, these projects include a new water system at Paray Mission Hospital; a greenhouse for Lema Farmer’s Association; several classrooms including for Letsatseng Primary School, Sephokong Primary School, and Maputsoe Primary School; ventilated pit latrines for Majara Primary School; and a block of two classrooms for Linaka Primary School.
During his visit, Ambassador Harrington met with Peace Corps volunteers serving in the region working in the Education and Healthy Youth programs. Volunteers in the Education program serve as primary school teachers of English, and secondary school teachers of mathematics. Volunteers in the Healthy Youth program work with community-based organizations to contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS among youth, assist in care and treatment of HIV positive youth, and help prepare youth for their futures.
Ambassador Harrington also visited the Paray Mission Hospital, which will receive the support of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for an expansion plan. In addition, he toured the Highlands Trout Farm and met with an alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI), who works at Bokong Nature Reserve.