The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society

The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society

AGM Notice 2018

by Elaine Herbert on 04/20/18

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 3rd June 2018 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 the duration of child placement recommended by the Ministry of Social Development.

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.

Care for the Carers

by Elaine Herbert on 02/18/18

Our Community Assistance Programme (CAP) was launched in March 2014 and from its inception to this day has been funded entirely by the Umckaloabo Stiftung to whom we are very grateful.

Through CAP we have been able to steadily increase our efforts to help strengthen the capacity of families in our neighbouring villages to support orphans and vulnerable children. Currently we are assisting 20 families who are supporting 46 children.

These families are identified with assistance from the Chief and Councillors working together with Mants’ase Children’s Home management.

Caring for children requires a lot of energy and if a guardian is not well, this will impact negatively on the quality of care they are able to give their children. Any health problems they may have, and these may include high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and/or TB, need to be properly diagnosed and treated. It is equally important that they have a healthy diet with all the nutrients they need to be able to take prescribed medications effectively and maintain their health.

We believe that concern for the welfare of those who take care of children is essential.

Through CAP we ensure that these families (the guardians and their children) have access to quality health care services. We provide food for each family, to supplement the food that they have. And we ensure that these children are enrolled at school (at preschool, primary school or at secondary level), that their school fees are paid and that they have school uniforms.

Mants'ase staff visit these families regularly to show them our support, to find out about any problems they may have, to check that the food we have given them is being used as intended and that the guardians are providing proper and loving care for their children.

And we would like to take this opportunity to thank the guardians very much for the way in which they have chosen to express their appreciation, by visiting Mants’ase Children’s Home two days a week to help with the laundry - this is great help - and helping each other to grow more vegetables. Wonderful!

Below: Keyhole gardens

Keyhole vegetable gardens

Our Reunification Programme

by Elaine Herbert on 02/18/18

Not all the children at Mants'ase have close family members who are still living, but occasionally there are cases where distant relatives are very willing to care for a child.

Whenever possible, when we believe it is in the best interests of the child, we reunite our children with their families.

During 2017 we were able to reunite six children with their families.

However, this is not an easy task.  First we have to find the families, then visit them to find out about their circumstances. If their circumstances permit and they are willing to meet us at least half way, then the reunification process begins.

The child's first visit to his or her family is supervised by a qualified person, usually a social worker. If this visit goes well, another visit will be arranged. Then, if all is still going well the child will go to his/her family for a weekend visit, or sometimes a longer visit during school holidays.

Throughout the process the child receives regular counselling with a social worker.

When everything goes well the whole process takes approximately one year, but this is an expensive and very time consuming programme.

The reason this programme is so expensive and time consuming is because children are placed at Mants'ase (by the Ministry of Social Development) from all ten districts in Lesotho. This means a lot of travelling, from Qacha's Nek to Mokhotlong, Semonkong to Butha-Buthe, all over the country. And while it is possible to drive to many of the family homes, it is not always possible. An extreme example is one child's family home which is a three hour walk from the end of the road.

If the only obstacle to reunification is financial we will in certain cases continue to pay the child's education expenses such as school fees. But we are very careful and strict about what we continue to pay for. As mentioned before, we will only begin the reunification process if the family is willing and able to meet us at least half way.

It is important to note that when a family feels they cannot meet a child, or continue with the reunification process, we do not judge them nor do we try to twist their arms. We have to remember at all times that we have not walked in their shoes.

Climate Change as viewed by students at Mants’ase

by Elaine Herbert on 02/07/18

During the school holidays some of our teenagers worked on a project about climate change. Naturally much of what each child wrote in his/her essay also appears in other essays so the following is a summary of their efforts.

Climate Change:

Climate simply refers to the average weather over a long period of time.

Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases that allow the short waves from the sun to enter our atmosphere but trap the long waves that the earth radiates out - causing a build-up of energy. This energy is not evenly spread over the globe as winds are constantly blowing somewhere. So what is done in one part of the world could have effects far away.

Climate is affected by many practices all over the world which, over time, cause climate change.

There are many factors affecting climate change negatively and if these are ignored, it will cause more severe weather. There can be too much wind, drought, heatwaves or floods. By reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted we can help to lower the chances of such extreme weather.

But before we spend too much time looking at what other people are doing in other parts of the world, we should consider carefully what we are doing at Mants'ase to help stop the march of climate change.

Since we know what causes climate change, we can help to combat it and here at Mants'ase Children's Home we help care for the atmosphere by:

    Planting Trees. We plant as many trees as we can. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and many trees use lots of carbon dioxide in the manufacture of their plant food. These trees also produce fruit which is very nice for us to eat and saves money.

    Replacing Trees. Deforestation is the cutting down of trees without replacing them. When those trees are cut down there is going to be a lot of carbon dioxide released into the air and this causes climate change. But at Mants'ase we use as few trees as possible for firewood, or for building materials. We have planted more trees to replace those we have cut down, trees which store carbon and so help to protect the climate.

    Having only one vehicle, our vehicle is regularly serviced and therefore releases a minimum amount of greenhouse gases. The vehicle is seldom used by one person or for only one reason.  Trips to town are planned so that as many things as possible can be done in one trip - this further cuts down on greenhouse emissions from the vehicle and reduces each person's carbon footprint.

    Recycling. Although we don't have a formal recycling plan as in the cities, we do recycle. Food waste is fed to animals. Clothing is passed on to younger children if in good condition. Our pre-primary teacher uses cardboard boxes, magazines etc. to make toys and teaching aids and when we have emptied jars, bottles and plastic containers (and if we have no other use for them) we give them to those in our community who make good use of them.

    Buying in bulk. Whenever it is practical to do so, we buy in bulk. This means there is less packaging, therefore less waste. Very little ends up in the rubbish pit.

    Using less manufactured goods. We use the products of industries, but by reducing the amount of manufactured goods we purchase we are helping to reduce the need for greenhouse gas producing industries.

    We use solar energy to pump water from underground and we supplement our water supply using a roundabout pump. Whenever we play on the roundabout, water is pumped up from underground into a storage tank. Therefore the roundabout pump uses no electricity.

    We have solar geysers to heat water for washing ourselves and our clothes, and for general cleaning purposes. The solar geysers use a very little bit of electricity.

    We do not have wind turbines at Mants'ase but we do use wind energy almost every day when we hang our laundry outside to dry. The laundry is dried by the sun and the wind. On windy days the laundry dries much quicker.

    We walk to and from school and church. By walking whenever we can instead of using a vehicle we are being kind to the atmosphere.

    We switch off electrical appliances, for example: lights, when they are not needed.

    We have our own vegetable garden. By growing as much of our own food as we can, we are cutting down on the transport of food to us. This helps reduce carbon emissions into the environment. There is also less waste (decaying food puts carbon back into the environment) and no packaging is used for the vegetables we grow ourselves.

Privacy versus Promotion

by Elaine Herbert on 02/07/18

In this day of instant images intended to pluck at the heart strings and encourage a generous and desperately needed influx of donations, it is often suggested that we tell the first hand story of one of our children accompanied by photos of the child. We have very real reasons for not doing so and we just have to hope and pray that the general story of loss for the children and our dependence on the kindness of strangers will enable our work to continue.

Children are placed at Mants'ase because they have been traumatised and while they are at Mants'ase we want our children to feel secure in their surroundings. If they don't feel secure, they don't thrive.

Not all the children have been traumatised in the same way. Some people find it difficult to understand that to be orphaned is traumatic for a child. Other children have been abused – sexually, physically and/or psychologically. Some children are at Mants'ase because their parent/guardian is serving a prison sentence. Some have been abandoned or, for any number of reasons, their families can't give them a home.

A child may find it very difficult to cope with the fact that their parent/guardian is in prison because of testimony that they gave at a trial. They may blame themselves for what has happened and not the person who abused them.

Facebook, for example, is very popular in Lesotho and most people in the bigger centres have facebook on their phones. We truly appreciate the support that many of our Basotho followers give us but unfortunately, there are also a lot of trolls. The children will never feel secure if they are worried about what they can or can't talk about.

So to sum up, we can't always cater to what we imagine will grab the attention and sympathy of potential donors by sharing our children's personal stories, and so increase donations. We have to put the children's welfare above all else and so we depend on people to view the overall work that we do and to understand that each and every child in our care has their own very personal and private story.

Thank you Nedbank

by Elaine Herbert on 12/23/17

Thank you so much to Nedbank Lesotho for their visit on the 19th December, for providing a new outfit of clothing for each of our children for Christmas, for their gifts of toys and for providing a delicious lunch for the children. We appreciate!

Below is the speech given by Mr. Pheta Setlojoane, Head of Legal and Governance on behalf of the MD Nedbank Lesotho at the Christmas Clothing Handover to Mants’ase Children’s Home.

Presentation by Mr Pheta Setlojoane

"His Majesty King Letsie III, The Right Honourable The Prime Minister, The Honourable President of the Senate, The Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, His Majesty’s Cabinet, The Board, Management Committee, and staff and children of Mants’ase Children’s’ Home, Management and staff from Nedbank Lesotho, Distinguished members of the Media, and invited guests; please allow me to say, All Protocol Observed.

I stand here on behalf of the Board, MD, management and staff of Nedbank Lesotho to present clothing and gifts to the children of Mants’ase Children’s Home to help celebrate this wonderful season of Christmas. This is in part to also commemorate the 20 years of Nedbank being a part of the Lesotho history. We trust these gifts will bring cheer and joy to the children. I know that even as adults each one of us is looking forward to receiving something at this time just as a token of love and appreciation; how much more to the children.

As Nedbank, we have a long and fruitful relationship with Mants’ase going back over many years. So it is only befitting that on our 20th anniversary we celebrate with you given the long and cordial relationship we have enjoyed over the past years. Mants’ase is well known for its consistent quality work as an NGO working with destitute and vulnerable children through providing residential care here at the home as well as assisting to reunite children where possible with, their own families. This is a noble work which we are pleased to support as Nedbank Lesotho. The donation we are giving today is but part of our ongoing corporate social investment programmes and our commitment as a local corporate citizen to doing good for the people we serve and the communities in which we operate.  It is also a way of giving back and saying thank you to the Mohale’s Hoek communities and Basotho from all walks of life who have supported us over the past 20 years. 

In closing, I would like to extend my thanks to the Patron of Mants’ase Children’s Home, Her Majesty the Queen, the Mants’ase Board of Trustees, management team, donors, and volunteers who continue to give of their time, skills, and resources to promote the well-being of destitute children by providing a loving, stable home environment, meeting education and nutrition needs of the children, and also strengthening the local community and family structures. May I also use this opportunity to wish everyone here and the nation at large a wonderful and safe Christmas and holiday season.

Kea leboha bo Mme le bo Ntate."

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)



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