Berea – The United States Ambassador to Lesotho Matthew Harrington has sworn in 32 Peace Corps volunteers to take assignments as English and Mathematics teachers for a two-year period beginning tomorrow.
At the swearing-in ceremony held at Ha Koali in the Berea district today, Harrington reminded the volunteers to contribute to the building of the communities by lending their expertise.
You’re ambassadors of your own country and you will be embodiments of the American values and you can achieve such by working together with the Basotho people as your hosts, Harrington told the volunteers.
He said their involvement in the education and health programmes in Lesotho would increase friendly ties between the two countries noting that currently there were 92 volunteers serving in fields such as agriculture, education and health.
While urging them to “touch the lives of the peoples they serve”, Harrington advised they should be sensitive to the culture of the Basotho people, adding they endured in difficult situations where there was lack of clean water and electricity.
The volunteers also work with the youth in the ten districts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, assist in care and treatment of HIV positive youth and help to prepare them for future employment.
The Minister of Education and Training ’Makabelo Mosothoane said the volunteers would now live in peaceful conditions as Lesotho “nearly went into flames” at the height of political instability in recent months.
“Your hospitality is now well guaranteed. You left your home to help in Lesotho especially in rural areas and your commitment to serve in this country is highly appreciated,” remarked Mosothoane.
She noted that the Peace Corps volunteers’ contribution would assist in rural schools where there “are no qualified teachers to teach English and Mathematics.’
The government of Lesotho, she added, is set to tackle a sky rocketing unemployment so we’re indebted to each one of your invaluable contribution to serve in the areas of education.
One of the volunteers, Neel Mitragotri was grateful of the 10 week-training in Basotho culture and tradition they received from the locals in the area.
When we arrived here we were very fearful but you welcomed us well and shown us the good direction during our stay with the families, said Mitragotri in a more polished Sesotho language.
He revealed they were determined to assist the Basotho youth to lead a good life as “you have taught us your culture and tradition in a warm welcome,” adding that unity was strength among the people of Lesotho.
The group is to serve in all the districts of Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, Berea, Thaba-Tseka and Mokhotlong.
Their training was conducted in the villages of Ha Mothebesoane, Ha Koali, Ha Lephoi and Ha Ramonyaloe in the Berea district, situated north of the city of Maseru.
There are 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers working in 65 countries around the world. The volunteers have been working in Lesotho since 1967.
The organization is funded by the U.S government and is an active participant in the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Trout Fish Braai
Likatola Horseriding and Adventure
Ha Teko, Qeme, Maseru
20th December, 2014