Tag Archive for Maliba Community Trust

What 24% HIV+ Really Means

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corps

When I first signed up for my Peace Corps assignment, all that I was told was that I’d be in Lesotho, working with communities on HIV/AIDS. I was very excited about living in Lesotho, but less so about working on the AIDS pandemic. It just seemed like such a monumental and depressing task. We were told that the official prevalence rate was 24% of people in Lesotho were infected with HIV. It sounds like a lot, but it is totally different to be in the middle of it, to see all the sickness and death. It’s everywhere and it effects everyone. It has decimated such a friendly, loving people. After being here for a year and seeing its terrible pervasive effects, I wouldn’t want to focus on anything else. Even though the average family has 3-4 children, there is still negative population growth, it’s that bad.

In my village there aren’t really any good figures on how many people are infected. There is a lot of stigma and prejudice about being HIV positive, so most people won’t talk about it (which is a big part of the problem). But in my village of 204 families, there are 85 children who have lost one parent, and 33 children who have lost both parents and are still in primary/elementary school.Besides teaching about HIV in the schools, I am helping to start a community center in my village with funding from the Maliba Comunity Development Trust. Read more

Australian volunteers learn whilst teaching

Teachers Kaye Young & Lidia Mancini

Teachers Kaye Young & Lidia Mancini

“We came to teach and ended up learning.”

That was the response of  two Australian teachers, Lidia Mancini and Kaye Young, who travelled to the highlands of Lesotho to help in the education of  local youngsters. Read more

Village Life – from the point of view of an American Peace Corps Volunteer

Juliana Fulton - American Peace CorpsI’m a 23 year-old university grad student from suburban America, who has come to live in a rural village in Lesotho, southern Africa for the next two years.  I’m often asked why I became a Peace Corps volunteer, giving up the comforts of home, flush toilets and electricity, and good salaried jobs, to come live in developing Africa.  I still find it hard to explain, I’m here to help people who haven’t had the advantages that I’ve had.  I’m here for the adventure, to experience the real world outside of my sheltered American college town.  I’m also here because I want to work in international development and believe that living in a community in a developing country was the best way to really understand them.  Most Peace Corps volunteers go to their sites with lofty goals, hoping to make a big difference, to build a community centre or help stop the spread of a disease.  My aspirations are much simpler, to make small improvements in the lives of the people around me.  I’ve been in Lesotho for three months, and they’ve already changed mine. Read more

Kids of St. Felix

Saint Felix kids through brocken glass

Kids looking through broken glass

Earlier this year on a private visit to some of the government schools in Northern Lesotho, I learnt that Lesotho has plenty of Primary/Secondary schools along with dedicated teachers. This has resulted in it having one of the highest literacy rates in Africa (82% – World Vision), however these schools are ill equipped and under financed. This has resulted in minimal teacher resources and no maintenance program leaving schools in a terrible state of disrepair.

This photo was taken at St Felix Primary School which had 150 of its 400 window broken, allowing the freezing mountain air to blow through every classroom. This vivid image was the catalyst for myself and some mates to get together to form the “Maliba Community Trust” to help finance the community, through projects like repairing school infrastructure.

Photo by Nick King

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲