Today U.S. Ambassador Matthew T. Harrington and Minister of Education Mahali Phamotse inaugurated a block of two classrooms at Motete Secondary School in Butha Buthe District. The classrooms were constructed with a grant of $7,440 (approximately M84, 800) from the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund and will provide additional instructional space for approximately 180 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 $394,000 (approximately M4,728,000) 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 Butha Buthe, projects supported under this program include pit latrines for Butha Buthe Camp Primary School, renovation of classrooms for Khatibe Primary School, classroom construction for Soloane Primary School, solar power for Sefako High School, and library construction for Sefako Primary School.
During his visit, Ambassador Harrington also 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 future.
Ambassador Harrington also visited the Maputsoe SDA Health Center and Motebang Hospital, which are both supported through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and provide comprehensive HIV and TB services. In addition, he toured the Leribe Agricultural Skills Training Centre, which was awarded $5, 000 (approximately M70, 000) in 2015 from the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help fund to start an instructional layers project. Through the generous support of the American people, the Training Center has been able to both build a chicken house and train 118 students on how to manage poultry projects.
For more information about this and other U.S. Embassy grant opportunities, please visit our website at https://ls.usembassy.gov/education-culture/grant-programs/.