The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society

The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society

Vacancy - General Manager

by Elaine Herbert on 06/02/17

Mophato oa Mants’ase

Mants’ase Children’s Home

 

Well established children’s charity is looking for the services of a General Manager to work with their close knit team in Qhalasi, district of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho.

*Work experience is essential*

The General Manager’s key responsibilities are ensuring the wellbeing of all the children, good governance, leadership of the staff, reporting to trustees and local and central government, and the achievement of strategic goals.

This full-time job is both challenging and very busy, it also requires being on call after hours. Therefore accommodation and meals are provided at Mants’ase Children’s Home.

Applicants must:

  • Care about the welfare of children and that of the community in general

  • Speak, read and write both Sesotho and English fluently

  • Have a friendly manner and team orientated approach

  • Have excellent management, organisational and communication skills, including conflict resolution.

  • Be able to pay good attention to detail.

While tertiary academic qualifications are not a specific requirement, qualifications in any of the following fields could be an advantage: Child Care, Health Care, Teaching, Social Work, and/or Office Management.

Salary:  Negotiable, taking into account experience and qualifications.

Please email your confidential CV to admin@mantsase.org or telephone +266 2700 0850 for more information.

Funding: Finding the Right Balance

by Elaine Herbert on 05/12/17

Nobody involved in raising funds for a charitable cause has ever told me that fundraising is stress-free, or easy. Trends in grant-making which focus on a hot topic make it difficult to find funding for other important work, while finding the right balance between restricted and unrestricted funding makes fundraising even more challenging.

Restricted funding places limits on a grant or donation, typically at one of the following levels:

  • Inputs (e.g. the recipient will use the funds to purchase textbooks)

  • Outputs (e.g. the recipient will use the funds to run 100 classes)

  • Outcomes (e.g. the recipient will use the funds to improve the literacy of 100 children)

  • Themes or beneficiaries (e.g. the recipient will use the funds to educate homeless children)

Unrestricted funding however is not always a clearly defined concept. Often defined as general operating support, it may also be referred to as core funding, funding for day to day expenses, or more conceptually unrestricted funds can be defined as donations in support of an organisation’s mission.

We appreciate that there are sometimes good reasons for restricting funds, but we now find ourselves in a position where we are over reliant on restricted funds, and this is not good.

It could all too easily result in a situation where important work is sacrificed.

We urgently appeal to our Mants’ase family and friends to donate or to contact us for more information about making a donation.

At Mants’ase unrestricted funds can be used at different times towards covering the cost of day to day expenses which include food, toiletries, cleaning materials, clothing (including school uniforms), staff salaries, transport, insurance, medical treatment and legal assistance for the children, the maintenance of buildings and other infrastructure, electricity, telephone, networking, advocacy, as well as essential administration expenses that ensure good governance.

Our mission is twofold:

  • To continue developing an excellent support centre to deliver integrated and equitable essential services to destitute families, through strengthening family support and helping them overcome challenges such as HIV/AIDS and endemic poverty.

  • To provide residential care for children who have no other safety net, keeping them as much a part of the community as possible and helping equip them to be responsible adults who will grow up to be significant contributors to their communities.

We at Mants’ase believe that we should focus first on achieving the best results for the children and community we serve. That we should always be mindful of the fact that an NGO and its activities are not two separate entities, they are in fact two sides of the same coin, and that unrestricted funds are critical for our sustainability.

Finding the Right Balance

 

AGM 2016 General Manager’s Report

by Elaine Herbert on 04/24/17

AGM 2016 General Manager’s Report

By Fifi Mphako: 13 November 2016

Full Report

Summary

The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society

The Mophato oa Mants’ase Society is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.

The aims of the 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.

 As at the 31st October 2016:

  • The Society is assisting 22 families who are supporting 47 children.

  • 55 children are accommodated at Mants’ase Children’s Home, 34 boys and 21 girls. 30 are double orphans, 7 are single orphans and 18 are vulnerable for other reasons. 11 of the children are HIV Positive and 2 have special needs.

  • The Society employs 13 full-time staff and is assisted by a part-time social worker who provides counselling for all the children residing at Mants’ase Children’s Home.

Mants’ase Children’s Home

Mants’ase Children’s Home provides both temporary and last resort care for children who have no other safety net. We strive to meet all our children’s needs; food and nutrition, shelter and care, legal and safety protection, health care, education and life skills training, and to provide psychosocial support to all children residing at the Home.

The Home has been blessed in its accomplishments between August 2015 and October 2016 and we are very grateful for the continued support that we have received.

We also enjoyed several events including the official opening of our new buildings by our Patron, Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso.

Community Care

The Mants’ase Community Assistance Programme (CAP) is providing ongoing assistance to 22 families who are supporting 47 children.

Together with Thembalethu Community Development, CAP 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.

Little Babes Montessori School provides preschool education not only for children from Mants’ase Children’s Home but also for a number of children from the village, most of whom live with their grandparents as their parents have left home to look for jobs.

This year Little Babes Montessori School hosted the Moshoeshoe Day event for all the preschools in the Taung region.

Strengthening Partnerships

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.

Thank you

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. And for the many services and gifts donated in kind; 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!

2016 Board of Trustees

by Elaine Herbert on 02/16/17

The Board of Trustees

13 November 2016

Patron

Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso

Founder

The Anglican Church

Chair

Mr Herman Nieuwoudt

Vice Chair

Mr Geoff McPherson

Treasurer

Mr Bill Herbert

Secretary

Ms Elaine Herbert

Members

Mrs Gladys McPherson

Mrs Catherine Nieuwoudt

Mr Thesele Leshota

Mr Mochesane Mosoloane

Ex officio Members

The Principal Chief of Taung

The District Administrator

The Chairman of Local Government

The Commissioner of Police

The Social Welfare Officer (District of Mohale’s Hoek)

AGM Notice 2016

by Elaine Herbert on 09/29/16

NOTICE

The Annual General Meeting of the Mophato oa Mants’ase Society will be held at Mants’ase Children’s Home, Mohale’s Hoek district, on Sunday 13 November 2016 at 12 o’clock.

Light refreshments will be served.

The Society’s aims 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 as long as it may be needed.

Society Membership is open to anyone who wishes to foster and further the Society’s aims and who pays an annual subscription of M5,00 (Five Maloti).

Society Members who have paid their annual subscription are eligible to vote at the meeting.

Society Members who wish to pay their annual subscription at the AGM may do so.

The Withiel Spitfire

by Elaine Herbert on 09/10/16

The Withiel Spitfire

The Withiel Spitfire

By: Patrick Malone

From the Withiel Parish Magazine

Strange things happen in Withiel, but one project currently nearing completion in the Parish must rank as one of the oddest – a group of experts are building a full-sized replica Spitfire fighter plane for the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The work is going on in the boatshed in Victoria Square – Withiel Parish stretches along the old A30 to beyond the Newquay-Par rail line – where the Spitfire Heritage Trust is building the plane to mark the 50th anniversary of Lesotho’s independence, and to thank the people of that country for their support during the Second World War.

This takes a bit of explaining, but when war broke out Britain’s defence had been so badly neglected that we sent the begging bowl around the Commonwealth for money to buy Spitfires. The most generous response of all came from the people of Lesotho – then called Basutoland – who despite their abject poverty sent us 24 Spitfires and a Hurricane. They also sent 10,000 men out of a total population of fewer than 400,000 to fight a white man’s war half a world away, and we have never adequately thanked them for their sacrifices.

Even in Lesotho, the facts are not widely known. Former RAF intelligence officer David Spencer Evans, who runs the Spitfire Heritage Trust, raised this issue with His Royal Highness Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, King Letsie III’s brother, at a drinks reception at the Lesotho High Commission in London, and it came as a surprise to the Prince, despite the fact that his grandfather had been the moving force behind Basutoland’s Spitfire Fund.

The people of Lesotho remain desperately poor, and many have never seen an aeroplane close up – they call them sefofane, “a thing that flies that is not a bird”.

David Evans and his colleagues decided to build the replica Spitfire as a centrepiece for Lesotho’s independence anniversary celebrations in October and November, and Withiel was chosen because Paul Ching, whose business premises are at Victoria Square, was a Spitfire buff who has special knowledge of working with composite materials, and has space to spare for the build. The aeroplane will shortly be put on a freighter for Durban, its passage paid for by Diamond Gem, a mining company with interests in Lesotho.

In recognition of their gift, one of the two RAF Squadrons equipped with the donated Spitfires was named 72 Basuto Squadron, and coincidentally Withiel resident Group Captain Simon Coy later became Commanding Officer of ‘A’ Flight, 72 Squadron, when it was flying Wessex helicopters in the late 1960s – and even he did not know the full background. 

The replica is correct in every detail, with moulds having been taken from a privately-owned Spitfire. It’s been quite expensive, and the small team at the Spitfire Heritage Trust have taken on their own debt load to fund it. Curiously, they’re marketing an expensive drink, Spitfire Heritage Gin, as part of their fund-raising efforts. Worth trying, even at £45 a bottle!

There’s much more to it than this, of course – David Evans and his team have tied the project up with education and training initiatives to help the people of Lesotho, and the project also aims to impress upon people at home that international aid is not a one-way street. For most Britons, Lesotho is as remote today as it was in 1940, and its people never cross our minds. But they were there for us when we needed them most, and they gave generously out of all proportion to their resources.

Tenth Anniversary

by Elaine Herbert on 04/02/16

Our children with the bakkie

Photographs

Near the top of the list of the most difficult things for a small charity to get funded is a vehicle. Yet ten years ago, in 2006 we were very fortunate to receive funding for a bakkie (a light delivery vehicle) and it has been a Godsend!

Ten years and more than 220,000 km later our bakkie is still working hard for the children of Mants’ase and for our Community Assistance Programme (CAP). We depend on it for shopping, taking children to the clinic or for hospital appointments, getting our Management staff to meetings in Mohale’s Hoek and Maseru, and for so many more reasons.

We would like to take this opportunity to pause, to say thank you again for this very valuable donation made ten years ago, to thank all who have contributed over the years to the cost of maintenance and fuel, to those who have supervised the maintenance, and to thank the drivers. Thank you all so very much!

We know we are going to have to replace our bakkie one day, we also know that this Nissan Hardbody is going to be a tough act to follow. Good little bakkie!

Built to Last

by Elaine Herbert on 03/27/16

Axel and Judith Milberg at Mants'ase Children's Home

Above: Judith and Axel Milberg

The three new buildings at Mants’ase Children’s Home, which will be officially opened on the 7th April have been built to last. Each of the buildings has been constructed to very high building standards and we believe they will be of great benefit to our children for many years to come.

Thank you so much to all those who contributed to their construction!

Thank you to Axel and Judith Milberg and the Umckaloabo Stiftung for the pivotal role they played in securing the necessary funding, and to RTL vir helfen kindern for generously sponsoring the cost of these new buildings.

Thank you to DNT Architects, Twentieth Construction and EFS Construction, and our heartfelt thanks to our Chairman, Mr Herman Nieuwoudt and our General Manager, Ms Fifi Mphako for overcoming what appeared to be impossible hurdles during the construction phase.

And thank you so much to all the staff and children at Mants’ase Children’s Home, you coped brilliantly with the unavoidable upheavals and inconveniences throughout the demolition and construction phases. We pray and trust that you will enjoy the benefits of these beautiful new buildings for many, many years.

The first building was designed with our children’s education needs in mind:

  • There is a multi-purpose room to be used by the preschool in the mornings (when the primary school children are at school) and in the afternoons and evenings the primary school children will have this ideal space for doing their homework.

  • There is a multi-purpose room for the secondary and high school children, an ideal space for them to do their homework, away from the little ones practicing their reading out loud!

  • And there is a library for everyone to use, as well as new office accommodation for our Assistant Manager.

While meeting our children’s education needs will always be our primary focus when using this building, we will also be using it for extramural activities, skills training for our children and staff, counselling and play therapy, meetings and recreation - particularly on cold and rainy days. Winter days are going to feel so much warmer with the protection of large windows to keep out the cold wind while allowing the maximum amount of sunshine in.

We also plan to use this building at times to host workshops focusing particularly on health and safety education, and to which we can also invite our neighbouring communities.

The second building houses:

  • Two new dormitories, each with their own bathroom. These dormitories were built for the older teenage children, aged between 16 and 18 years, one dormitory for the boys and one for the girls. These new dormitories have allowed proper housing of all the teenagers according to their developmental stage and have also enabled us to care for more children at Mants’ase Children’s Home.

  • Two flats (apartments) for the accommodation of the General Manager and Assistant Manager.

The third building houses the General Manager’s Office, a laundry room and a well-equipped food store room.

We are enormously grateful for the funding provided to Mants’ase Children’s Home by RTL vir helfen kindern and gladly display their logo near the entrance to the library.

And again, thank you so much to all who played their part.

Thank you for our new buildings, we really appreciate!

The Roundabout Pump

by Elaine Herbert on 03/19/16

As the children play on the roundabout they are also pumping water from the well up into a storage tank

For some time we have been experiencing regular shortages of water for domestic use at Mants’ase Children’s Home, a situation that was exacerbated by the recent severe drought.

Largely due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic there has been a rapid increase in the number of orphans and vulnerable children accommodated at the Home. In 2001 the Home could accommodate 20 children, by 2010 the Home could accommodate 50 children and today we can accommodate up to 60 children.

However as more dormitories and bathrooms were built and more children admitted, we were still relying on the same water supply infrastructure that was built fourteen or more years ago. This infrastructure, although still in good working order, was not designed to supply enough water for our present needs. It consists of a borehole (well) from where water is pumped into a reservoir using an electric pump which is powered by solar energy.

This pump therefore only pumps water into the reservoir during the day, and although Lesotho enjoys many sunny days (and Lesotho winters are relatively short) it was well known that a cloudy day during winter spelled ‘no water’, as the water in the reservoir would be completely depleted.

For most of the year, except during the worst of winter, the vegetable garden compounded the problem. The more vegetables we grew, the more water we drained from the reservoir and at the height of summer when the vegetable garden needs more watering, a beautiful, thriving vegetable garden meant less water for domestic use inside.

Thanks to the very generous donation of a new, additional borehole and roundabout pump system, which includes a 2,500 litre storage tank and stank stand, the problem of regular water shortages has now been addressed.

The new borehole is situated in the peach orchard*, next to the vegetable garden, and it should supply more than enough water for the vegetables and fruit trees. We encourage child participation in growing vegetables and spinning on the roundabout will be a fun new way for the little ones to help water the veggies!

And during the worst of winter, when the fruit trees are dormant and there is no need to water the vegetable garden (and because the water from the new borehole is also safe for human consumption) we now have the means to store a reserve supply of water for domestic use.

This donation was a complete package. All the expenses incurred in installing the new roundabout pump system were paid for by the donor for which we are very grateful.

We were also impressed by the care taken to understand our particular water supply problem and the care demonstrated in designing an appropriate, tailored solution.

Before installing the roundabout pump, the borehole was tested. Chemical and bacteriological tests were done, and a step down test was carried out to establish the rate at which water can be drawn from the borehole. The test results were sent to a Geo-hydrologist who certified that the water is fit for human consumption and also provided pump set recommendations to ensure a sustainable flow of water and ease of use of the equipment.

Ongoing maintenance of the system will be performed by a trained, locally sourced maintenance crew and any spare parts that may be needed will also be provided free of charge. Thank you so much!

We would also like to thank the donor’s agents, P&R Pumps in Bloemfontein, who managed this project efficiently and professionally from start to finish. Thank you so much!

We are delighted that the new borehole and roundabout pump should supply all the extra water we need. And we just love that our children have a terrific merry-go-round to play on!

* The peach orchard was donated to Mants’ase Children’s Home in June last year by the Ministry of Forestry and UN Cares. They planted 44 peach trees, which included different varieties of peaches, but unfortunately during the drought we were not able to water the trees and a number of them died. However, the trees that survived the drought appear to be well established now and we look forward to picking peaches later in the year.

Thank You Trilogy

by Elaine Herbert on 03/03/16

Thank you very much to our New Zealand based friends Trilogy for their donation to the Mophato oa Mant’sase Society!

 

This organic skincare company recently visited Lesotho for business purposes and visited Mants’ase informally. After traveling back to New Zealand they surprised us with a very generous donation.

 

Even more importantly, they indicated that the donation is unrestricted!

 

Most of the funding we receive is restricted to those costs and expenses the sponsor is willing to cater for. Because these decisions are often made many months before this money is spent, we frequently find ourselves in a situation where the funds we have cannot be used to cover all costs, or certain necessities are then neglected.

 

While restricted funding will continue to be a very important and major source of funding for the Home, relying too heavily on restricted funding leaves us financially vulnerable, particularly when situations and/or expenses arise that could not have been planned for.

 

Unrestricted funds are essential for our sustainability and we are very grateful to Trilogy for demonstrating their trust in our ability to use their donation wisely by contributing generously to our unrestricted funds.

 

Our most sincere gratitude!



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