The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society
AGM 2016 General Manager’s Report
By Fifi Mphako: 13 November 2016
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.
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.
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.
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
The Rosehip Company
The Jandrell Group
The Anglican Church
The Anglican Mother’s Union
Lesotho Flour Mills
Thank you all so much!
The Board of Trustees
13 November 2016
Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso
The Anglican Church
Mr Herman Nieuwoudt
Mr Geoff McPherson
Mr Bill Herbert
Ms Elaine Herbert
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)
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: 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.
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!
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!
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 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!
In loving memory of
‘Me ‘Makoena Grace Namakau Moshoeshoe
1954 - 2015
I first met Grace in Mohale’s Hoek in 1981 and I soon knew that Grace didn’t often hide her feelings. When Grace was cross with me, she told me so! She was also quick to share joy and to laugh with me. We laughed together a lot and that is how I will always remember her.
Grace served as Chairlady of our Board of Trustees from 2008 to January 2014. Being Chairlady involved a lot more than chairing meetings. Grace would visit the children over weekends and sometimes on a Sunday morning she would drive out to Qhalasi to go to church with them.
Grace knew each child and was always concerned about their health and wellbeing. If one of the children was ill, Grace knew about it and she made sure that that child received the necessary medical treatment.
Grace was born on the 28th July 1954 in Livingstone, Zambia. After completing her secondary education at Choma Secondary School she proceeded to the University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing where she qualified as a Registered Nurse and Midwife. It was while she was studying that Grace met the late Dr David Leboto Moshoeshoe and they later married on the 14th December 1978. After they were married they settled in Maseru where they completed their medical services at government hospitals, then relocated permanently to Mohale’s Hoek to begin their private practice.
Grace continued her education while in Lesotho and qualified as a Nurse Clinician. She was also a fervent Theology student and was in the process of completing her studies.
Affectionately known as Mimi to those close to her, Grace contributed to the Mohale’s Hoek community in many ways and in her later years served at St Stephen’s Anglican Church as a Lay Minister.
Grace died in her sleep on the 20th September 2015 and leaves behind her children Koena, Koenane David (DJ), the twins Mary-Anne and Elizabeth, and her granddaughter Lehakoe. To you all, our sincere condolences and thank you so much for asking our children to take part in Grace’s funeral service.
Our children chose Psalm 121:
"I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."
‘Me ‘Makoena will be remembered with much love at Mants’ase Children’s Home.
Robala ka Khotso Grace.
On the 12th September the tombstones for Nthabeleng Kibe and Tebello Machona and the memorial in memory of all four children who so tragically drowned last year, were unveiled.
The service and ceremony also marked the end of our official year of mourning.
We celebrated the lives of Nthabeleng, Mpho, Tebello and Reitumetse in the certain knowledge that they are with God and that we will never forget them. Then we opened a new chapter in our lives, and in the the life of Mants’ase Children’s Home.
Thank you so much to Msizi Africa for your generous funding which covered all the day’s expenses, including the cost of the tombstones and memorial. We appreciate this very much!
To all those who came and who helped and supported us at the unveiling, thank you, and thank you so much to those who have supported us in so many ways since the day of the tragedy. God bless you!
We are humbled. We are truly grateful. And we look forward to the future.