Maseru, Lesotho, April 9, 2021: Chargé d’Affaires Clinton “Tad” Brown and Minister of Social Development Matebatso Doti officially relaunched the Child Helpline Lesotho initiative at the Ministry of Social Development. Established in 2008, Child Helpline Lesotho is an outreach service that provides 24-hour services, emergency assistance, and long-term resources to children who have experienced any form of violence and need care.
The U.S. government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is proud to partner with the Ministry of Social Development in the relaunch and management of the Child Helpline Lesotho initiative. Through U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partner, Baylor Karabo ea Bophelo (KB), PEPFAR will fund the placement of ten permanent staff members and provide a 4X4 vehicle to ensure Child Helpline Lesotho can provide emergency assistance around the clock. These resources will also further KB’s outreach activities to inform and sensitize local communities to child rights issues and promote Child Helpline Lesotho’s services.
Over the years, PEPFAR, through USAID, has supported orphan and vulnerable children’s programs and activities to ensure that the most vulnerable segments of the population are safe from harm, stay healthy, attend school, and live in stable family environments. Unfortunately, as recent data has shown, Lesotho has a high rate of violence against children when compared to neighboring countries. With PEPFAR funding, USAID through their support to KB has worked diligently to strengthen the Ministry’s systems to respond to the various needs of vulnerable children.
During the vehicle handover event, Chargé Brown underscored the U.S. government’s continued support to the Ministry of Social Development and its commitment to preventing and responding to incidents of violence against children in Lesotho. He stated, “The U.S. government’s contribution to operationalize Child Helpline Lesotho reaffirms our ongoing support to protect, empower, and invest in the young people of Lesotho. The revival of this vital PEPFAR-funded project will provide 24-hour services to Basotho children…We are proud to further the Ministry of Social Development’s efforts in responding to the challenges in their work to prevent violence against children locally.
The U.S. government is committed to continuing its vital partnership with the Basotho people and the government of Lesotho by offering the necessary support to the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that children in Lesotho are safe, healthy, and thriving.