Global Sites: Lesotho
Lesotho Recent Updates:
The EHG Fund helps fund the Full Circle Learning Center, as well as many other charities. The Client Services Manager, Lindsey Schurman is currently in Monrovia, Liberia, touring and volunteering at the Full Circle Learning Center’s school. We will be writing about all of Lindsey's adventures when she gets back, so stay tuned!
Full-Circle Learning congratulates African Continental Director Maureen Mungai on her recent wedding and thanks her for her life-changing service for so many lives. Though she has left Lesotho, she continues to serve Full-Circle Learning projects in South Africa.
Youth facilitators in Mokhotlong, Lesotho traveled to schools throughout the region to bring Full-Circle Learning into the classrooms Principals, teachers and students eagerly awaited their visits. This model seemed the quickest way to get the information out to a large number of students and also to provide jobs for young people who often already headed household by their late teens.
The young teachers met together weekly to plan the lessons they will carry to the schools. In June, when school lets out for the year, the “winter school” began, and students traveled from miles around to attend. The 2009 intersession alone served more than 100 students, who studied the relationship of poverty and natural disaster under the theme of altruism. They learned about heroes from around the world, including the founder of their country, and wrote to global partners about their studies.
Through music, art and academics, and with the help of guest presenters from local NGOs, Regional director Maureen Mungai adapts Full-Circle Learning curricula in Lesotho. Her projects have influenced the community in a number of ways over the past several years. She has trained Peace Corps workers and other NGOs and has met with the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) about integrating FCL model in to the national curriculum. She then assisted parents in developing their own community-based organization to start new schools in the area. Advisor Kavian Magzhy has consulted on the project.
Eventually, parents requested a preschool, which soon became an important aspect of community life. A student-made garden which started as a community service project was embraced by the parents, who learned to make it a sustainable development project for the whole community. Collaborating donors had helped Louis Gregory bring the Full-Circle Learning projects to Mokhotlong. Foundations such as EHG and the Meridian Foundation participated. Parents helped make it sustainable. They began with a community garden, which became so successful as a means of support that they not only improved their nutrition but eventually sold produce to the local restaurant.
Then in mid-2009, when they learned of eventual plans to flood the property to build a dam, parents knew that the preschool and summer school would have to close. They exercised initiative, gaining permission from the Education Ministry to open a school and finding property with the help of a local chieftain. Full-Circle Learning had a fundraiser. (John Landau provided a latrine.)
The parents started with the preschool grades and called their school Lerato (Love). The school is now self-sufficient. Parents, principals and students alike have seen new possibilities for their lives since the project began in 2005.They have practiced altruism throughout their own neighborhood.