After years of planning and numerous visits to the African country of Lesotho, a project to generate income which supports children orphaned by HIV and AIDS has been completed.
“We are grateful for the generosity of The Rotary Club of Guelph and Rotary international who funded this life-changing project,” says Rotarian Tracey McGrath. McGrath visited the project in Lerobane, Lesotho, along with Bracelet of Hope Founder Dr. Anne Marie Zajdlik, and eight volunteers who returned to Guelph this week.
Rotary funding provided the investment necessary to build a pig barn with cement floors and walls of stone. Currently, the barn holds just under 20 pigs, but the aim is to eventually scale up to more than 30 pigs once the initial trial is completed. The aim is to help make this and other Bracelet of Hope homes, self-supporting through raising pigs or chickens and growing their own vegetables.
The grant also funded a borehole for the pigs as well water for gardens that grow nutritious carrots, kale, cabbage, beats, onions and other vegetables and greens for the orphans throughout the year. The borehole on the property of Lerobane foster home, located on the side of low, rocky mountains, also eliminates the walk to a local well for the foster children.
The $70,000 grant was matched with $20,000 from Bracelet of Hope. Funds also provided investment for a number of chicken projects that help provide jobs as well as income for foster homes. The project included training for those engaged in the effort. A small portion of the grant purchased solar cookers for the six foster homes that are operated by Bracelet of Hope. Solar cookers reduce the amount of fuel needed for each home. A further portion of the grant provided computers to five schools in the region.
All the Rotary projects engage local Rotary organizations, in this case the Rotary club located in the capital, Maseru. “I was honoured to be able to meet with the Maseru Rotary this past week along with Candice Coghlan, a representative from Bracelet of Hope. We celebrated the success of the project and our partnership together. I believe this is just the beginning and a great way to help children left homeless as a result of losing their parents,” said McGrath.