PART 1 : The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society
The aims of the Mophato oa Mants’ase Society are to foster the wellbeing of vulnerable children through their own families wherever possible, and where this is not possible to provide residential care for the duration of child placement recommended by the Ministry of Social Development.
The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society is a non-governmental organization. It was founded by the late Father Patrick Maekane, a retired Anglican priest who was well known and respected throughout Lesotho.
The initial need for the society arose due to poverty. Traditionally in Basotho culture the extended family cares for any relative in need of assistance, but poverty was causing more and more families to become overburdened and unfortunately some children were left with no one to take care of them.
In 1978 Father Maekane began building on land that was allocated by the former Principal Chief of Taung, Mofumahali Mants’ase; after whom the society was later named. The first buildings were completed in late 1979 and the society was registered on the 26th November 1979 under number 79/17 in the Society Registry, Maseru.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the HIV/AIDS pandemic severely aggravated the situation for families; within a short time an overwhelming number of children were left without anyone to take care of them. In response to the crisis the society decided to focus solely on providing a temporary safe home as a last resort for orphans and vulnerable children. In 2001 the Home could accommodate 20 children, by 2010 the Home could accommodate 50 children, and currently in 2016 the Home can accommodate 60 children.
In 2004 the name of the Home was changed to Mants’ase Children’s Home (a more user friendly name for English speakers) as part of a drive to raise funds internationally.
At the beginning of 2014 the society again focused on Father Maekane’s vision as defined in the constitution, and the society has steadily increased its efforts to help strengthen the capacity of families to support orphans and vulnerable children. In 2016 the society is providing support to 47 children who are in the care of 22 families.
The purpose of the Mophato oa Mants’ase Society is to operate as a charitable organization for the relief of orphans and vulnerable children. The society is responsible for all programs implemented both at the residential care facility and through the community support program. This is achieved through:
•Providing support to help strengthen the capacity of families to support orphans and vulnerable children within the community. •Providing residential care for orphans and vulnerable children at Mants’ase Children’s Home.
Society membership is open to anyone who wishes to foster and further the aims of the society, the annual subscription is M5,00 (five Maloti). Society members elect a Board of Trustees at the Annual General Meeting and the elected trustees are responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the society’s activities.
Board of Trustees structure
•The Patron – Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso •The Proprietor – Rev Pheko (Anglican church) •The Chairperson – Mr Herman Nieuwoudt •The Vice Chairperson – Mrs Gladys McPherson •The Secretary – Ms Elaine Herbert •The Treasurer – Mr Bill Herbert •Advisory Members – Mr Geoff McPherson, Mr Thesele Leshota, Mrs Catherine Nieuwoudt •Ex-officio Members – Ministry of Social Development, District Administrator, Principal Chief (Taung), Mr and Mrs Danny Bothma •Mants’ase Children’s Home Management – Ms Fifi Mphako, Mr Bokang Lipholo
The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society employs thirteen full-time staff members:
•The General Manager is responsible for the wellbeing of the children, good governance and leadership of the staff, and the achievement of strategic goals. •The Assistant Manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of Mants’ase Children’s Home with the help of:
- •Four Housemothers/Care Workers and two Assistant Housemothers responsible for the domestic work and taking care of the children at the Home.
- •One Gardener and two Assistant Gardeners who are responsible for the gardens and grounds.
•The Outreach Officer is responsible for the Mants’ase Community Assistance Programme (CAP). •The Preschool Teacher is responsible for Little Babes Montessori School.
The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society is committed to building and strengthening partnerships with the Government, NGO’s, donors and the public sector to ensure responses that are in the best interests of the child.
PART 2 : Mants’ase Children’s Home
Mants’ase Children’s Home is a temporary safe home for orphans and vulnerable children with a loving and Christian family atmosphere. The aim of the residential care facility is to protect the children from any form of abuse, to keep them as much a part of the community as possible and to equip them to be responsible adults and significant contributors to the community.
Mants’ase Children’s Home has developed a policy handbook to ensure good governance, child protection and care, implementation of the policies to achieve strategic goals and communicating the purpose of the organization.
•In the best interests of the child •Care and support •Protection of the child •Education and skills development
•Dignity and integrity •Non-discrimination •Love and care
•Orphans •Children who have been abandoned •Children who are victims of abuse
The Home can accommodate up to 60 children from 3 years to 18 years old. As at October 2016, 55 children are accommodated at Mants’ase Children’s Home, 34 boys and 21 girls. Since August 2015 the number of double orphans has increased. We now have 30 double orphans, 7 single orphans and 18 vulnerable children. We have again experienced an increase in the number of HIV positive children admitted to the Home. Currently there are 11 HIV positive children, one asthmatic child and two special needs children.
Children are often the helpless and overlooked victims of poverty and abuse. Mants’ase Children’s Home believes all children deserve a chance to realize their full potential through providing for their survival, emotional, educational and health needs, protection and psychosocial support. We ensure an environment where children feel good about themselves, feel appreciated and receive feedback that leads to a positive self-image. We at Mants’ase Children’s Home believe that every child matters.
We strive to effect lasting changes in the quality of life for our children through ensuring that children are happy and content.
•Providing every child with adequate shelter that is safe and dry. •Ensuring that every child receives sufficient food that enables proper physical and mental growth. •Ensuring that children enjoy and achieve at school and through other recreational activities. •Ensuring that children have adult supervision and support at all times. •Providing psychosocial support for each child. •Reuniting children with their families where possible. •Providing quality medical care and support. •Ensuring legal and safety protection.
Accomplishments: August 2015 to October 2016
Your contribution to Mants’ase Children’s Home in this preceding year has enabled us to ensure that children thrive.
Food and Nutrition
Access to adequate nutritious food is a basic human right. Good nutrition plays an important role in the growth and development of a child. At Mants’ase Children’s Home:
•The supply of clean drinking water was increased with a new borehole and the installation of a roundabout water pump. •55 children were provided with a variety of healthy, nutritious meals three times a day to ensure proper growth free from disease. •Care workers were taught the nutritional value of food. •Four care workers and two assistant care workers obtained food handler’s certificates. •The Home received an award from the Ministry of Health for providing the best nutrition at a child care facility.
Shelter and Care
•A loving and safe home was provided for 55 children. •Ensured that each child has a bed and bedding, locker or cupboard to put his/her clothes and personal belongings into. •Care givers were trained on the proper child care approach methods by management. •The housemothers and management attended a workshop about the standards and guidelines on residential care facilities hosted by the Ministry of Social Development. •We have repaired the fence around the dam to avoid further accidents.
Legal and Safety Protection
•We have admitted thirteen children from different districts in the country. •All the children attended water safety lessons at Hotel Mount Maluti; the water safety and swimming lessons were conducted by RLLA (Royal Lesotho Lifesaving Association). •Mohale’s Hoek Police, in the department of Fire Brigade and Rescue, held a one day workshop for children and staff on fire safety and first aid. •Seven children obtained travelling documents (passports) and nine obtained birth certificates. •C.G.P.U. (Child and Gender Protection Unit) hosted a workshop for children and staff on the rights of children and child trafficking.
•It is with great pleasure that I write this success story.
Last year we admitted a teenage boy who was very malnourished and was diagnosed with rickets. In addition he was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism, scoliosis and very painful, severe eczema over more than 80% of his body. His skin was constantly flaking and in the mornings his bedding would be covered in spots of blood. On admission he could not walk, could not stand by himself and it took hours to feed him; he was constantly in pain.
As a requirement we took the child to the hospital for various tests and assessments. The doctors suggested that we start off with addressing the issue of malnutrition so that they could further help the boy. The next step was to provide the child with counselling so that he could understand all the health procedures we were about to carry out. We consulted with the Mants’ase volunteer nutritionist who recommended a diet for him. Within a few months the child’s health significantly improved.
Focusing on his skin condition we consulted with a dermatologist and at different times different creams were recommended, but they did not all help. Some creams worked for a few weeks but then the child’s skin would start to flake again. Then one of the creams worked; the doctor at the hospital mentioned that this time the cream was able to work because the child had been eating well, benefiting from a nutritious diet. He was healthy, and the skin condition was healed because of good adherence to treatment, care and good nutrition.
The next step was to motivate the child to walk; he was taken for physiotherapy. The housemothers, children and staff got very involved in helping him to walk, every day they did some workouts with him and after some time he could stand unaided. The physiotherapist then recommended that he stop using a wheelchair and use a walking frame instead.
We are proud to say that today this child is very healthy, he can walk by himself, he is very confident and we have enrolled him at school. At school he was to start in Grade 1 however because of his good performance he was promoted to Grade 2.
The child will soon be going for surgery to his feet and lower legs which will further assist his mobility.
•On admission a teenage girl was diagnosed with TB, she underwent six months treatment and was completely healed. •All the children were screened for TB, and children on ARVs were provided with TB prophylactic treatment. •The children who had previously been diagnosed HIV negative were again tested for HIV and they all again tested negative. •All children who got sick were taken to the clinic. •Our care workers attended training specifically for those who care for people with mental health problems. They attended this training because we have admitted a child who needs this specialised care. The child is receiving medication to stabilize her condition and her health has improved.
Education and Life Skills Training
•Five students were awarded certificates for good performance in Maths, Science and English competitions held for all High Schools in the Mohale’s Hoek district. •Higherlife Foundation introduced a mentoring club for Secondary and High School students. The club is conducted online and through regular home visits. •Higherlife Foundation granted bursaries to seventeen children; the bursaries will continue up to tertiary level. The foundation also provided two children with school uniforms and one child with stationery. •Management and housemothers helped children with homework, particularly where they were struggling to comprehend. •The children attended weekend art classes where they portrayed different talents and during the Easter holidays assembled crosses using mosaic ceramic. •Children from the ages of fourteen to twenty participated in a Connect4Climate competition. They wrote essays on how to control climate change and with the help of Tim Jandrell, the children shot videos on ways that they can help prevent climate change.
Psychosocial Support: Social Support
•Children from the ages of four to thirteen years old received shoebox presents from the Anglican Church (Qhalasi Mission). •Mary Moshoeshoe and her friends visited the Home; they prepared lunch for the children, played lots of games with them and had a wonderful story telling. •The Sentebale team, accompanied by Joss Stone visited the Home and spent a day with the children. •Higherlife Foundation staff came for a weekend visit and provided a helping hand by cleaning, cooking and playing various games with the children; they concluded their visit by providing mentorship lessons to the children. •The Home welcomed a volunteer by the name of Marie from Germany. She spent four weeks at the Home and shared her skills around the Home and in the community. She also prepared a delicious dinner for the children before she departed.
Psychosocial Support: Counselling and Reunification
•All children who needed counselling were provided with counselling sessions. •One boy was referred to a child psychologist and has attended psychotherapy sessions. •One child has been reunited with his family. •Four children visited their families during school holidays and one child will be reunited with her family at the end of the school academic year.
To observe and respect the Care Facilities Guidelines and Policies, Mants’ase Children’s Home has to graduate children at the age of eighteen. However this is often a very difficult and sad step because the children have very little or no family support, some have not yet completed High School, and some may need a certain amount of continued support in order to enrol at a tertiary education institution, or begin an apprenticeship.
Renting accommodation for these children is very costly hence Mants’ase is reviewing its exit/graduation strategy, however funding for this issue is a problem.
Official Opening Ceremony of the New Buildings
On the 7th April 2016 Mants’ase Children’s Home was delighted by the presence of the many guests who came to celebrate the great achievement of officially opening the new buildings. The guest of honour, Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso gave the keynote address. The new buildings include the two study rooms, library, therapy room, laundry room, office, staff quarters and two dormitories for the older boys and girls.
In June seven of our children were very fortunate to be invited to take part in the Sentebale Concert 2016 in London; the children travelled with the Assistant Manager. The aim of the concert was to raise funds for orphans and adolescents living with HIV in Southern Africa.
On the 19th July 2016 we were honoured to welcome Sentebale Patrons, Prince Seeiso and Prince Harry together with the Sentebale team to Mants’ase Children’s Home.
Independence Day Celebrations
On the 4th of October Lesotho celebrated 50 years of independence. The children celebrated this special occasion with activities that included traditional dances and games. The children and staff also enjoyed music and a braai (BBQ).
•Provide continuing care and support for vulnerable children. •Provide continuous psychosocial support for children. •Guarantee a well-founded resilience structure for the children. •Ensure that wherever possible children are reunited with their families. •Ensure that staff continue to receive training on relevant child care skills. •Encourage skills development and vocational training for children. •Continue to liaise with professionals to establish mentorship clubs which will empower, motivate and network the children into the right direction and improve school performance. •Review the exit/graduation strategic plan. •Establish a bridging facility for children older than 18 years in their journey to become independent. •Ensure that those children who have graduated are empowered. •Ensure that the Home has a reliable and fit vehicle so that the staff can carry out their duties which are in the best interests of the child, such as reuniting children with their families, taking children to the clinic and transporting food to the Home.
PART 3 : Community Care
Develop an excellent support centre to deliver integrated and equitable essential services to destitute families, helping them overcome challenges such as HIV/AIDS and endemic poverty.
Help to establish a community where children and vulnerable groups have a better life, full of hope and inspiration, through strengthening family support, providing quality health care and educational support.
The Mants’ase Community Assistance Programme (CAP)
The aim of the Mants’ase Community Assistance Programme is to help strengthen the capacity of families in Qhalasi village to support children in need.
To the Umckaloabo Stiftung and RTL Wir helfen Kindern: Your unwavering support has made a significant difference to the lives of 22 families who support 47 children.
We were able to assist three disabled children with wheelchairs; prior to our support one of these children had not gone outside of the house for about two years, for the first time the child could play and interact with other children, however it is with great sorrow that I report that the child later died due to health complications. One of the children was enrolled at a school for children with multiple disabilities. The third child is still at home and is experiencing better care and support from her family.
CAP Accomplishments: August 2015 to October 2016
The outreach officer conducted home visits in the nearby community within a few kilometres from Mants’ase Children’s Home. The purpose of the visits was to identify the problems orphans and vulnerable children are faced with in the community. Her assessments were:
•Some children are the head of households because their parents have died or have gone to South Africa. •In some cases the grandparents are left to look after the children. •The poverty status of the families is in the neediest category of the community in which they live. •In some families the caregivers or guardians are chronically ill or are living with HIV and don’t have sufficient food and/or access to medication.
The Community Assistance Programme (CAP) provided the following assistance:
•CAP was able to get involved and provide support to 47 children who are in the care of 22 families. •CAP provides a monthly food hamper for each of the 22 families to ensure that they never go to bed on an empty stomach and are able to effectively take their medication. •CAP was able to assist a child headed family of four children who are 14, 10, 9 and 7 years old with five blankets, two mattresses, three framed windows and a door lock for security. CAP also paid the school fees for the eldest child who is 14 and is heading the family. CAP has been working together with the Ministry of Social Development and C.G.P.U. (Child and Gender Protection Unit) to locate the whereabouts of the children’s mother. •CAP has ensured that 44 children are enrolled at school (preschool, primary school and high school) and that their school fees are paid. The programme also provided the children with school uniforms and stationery. •On the 14th September 2016 it happened that a three year old girl was left alone at home. The girl found matches which she lit and dropped on the floor. Unfortunately the house was immediately set on fire. The neighbours saw the accident and hurried to rescue the little girl and help put out the fire, however all the family’s belongings were burnt, destroyed. Since the family did not own the house, the landlord asked them to immediately leave the place. Fortunately one of the villagers provided the family with a place to stay and CAP provided the family with food, blankets, mattresses and toiletries. •Through CAP five caregivers and twelve children were taken to the clinic when sick.
•Through CAP 40 schoolgirls were provided with sanitary pads. They were struggling to get sanitary pads, and some even skipped school when they were menstruating. •CAP together with Thembalethu Community Development held a training workshop for the community. The aim of the workshop was to empower the community on crop production, encourage the community to work together to improve their lives, and to create awareness of the importance of self-reliance. •CAP helped enrol one child with multiple disabilities at a special school in Butha-Buthe (Thuso-e-tla-tsoa kae), a school for children with special needs. At school the child is taught life skills to empower him to also be independent.
Preschool: Little Babes Montessori School
Little Babes Montessori School is located at Mants’ase Children’s Home.
•At present there are 25 children (ages 3 to 5 years) enrolled at the preschool. •The majority of the children who attend the preschool are from the village (most of them live with their grandparents as their parents have left home to look for jobs), the other children are from Mants’ase Children’s Home. •Among the children are 9 orphans and these children are assisted through the Community Assistance Programme. •Ten children will graduate at the end of this year and will begin Grade 1 in 2017.
This year Little Babes Montessori School hosted the Moshoeshoe Day event for all the preschools in the Taung region.
We need to register our preschool with the Ministry of Education and Training as it is now a requirement that all preschools in the country should register through the Early Childhood Care and Development department of the Ministry.
Community Care: Responsibilities and Goals
•Establish a community where children and vulnerable groups are not neglected. •Strengthen the capacity of families to support orphans and vulnerable children. •Equip caregivers with skills relevant for the development of a child. •Give orphans and vulnerable children in the community life skills training. •Ensure that the holistic wellbeing of children in the community is achieved.
The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society wishes to thank all those who have provided support both for our residential care facility (Mants’ase Children’s Home) and through our Community Support Programme.
For the financial support we have received we truly appreciate; your funding has helped the lives of many vulnerable children.
For the many services and gifts donated in kind; your contributions have been overwhelming and we are very grateful.
I would like to take this opportunity to mention some of the many benefactors who have provided support:
•The Umckaloabo Stiftung •RTL – Wir helfen Kindern •Sentebale •The Rosehip Company •The Jandrell Group •The Anglican Church •The Anglican Mother’s Union •Higherlife Foundation •Lesotho Flour Mills
Thank you all so much!