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An update from the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa

October 29, 2014

THE LESOTHO EVANGELICAL CHURCH IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
PROJECT UPDATES

Have a Ball at Primary School:

The project involved purchasing “extra” items for primary schools such as sports equipment, materials for dance competitions, teaching aids, art supplies, etc.  Funds from Global Ministries were used to purchase items for three schools:

  •  Toloane Primary School:  material for cultural dance outfits and sports equipment (netballs, soccer balls  and jumropes)
  •  Sekamaneng Primary School:  various art supplies (paint, brushes, modeling clay, crayons)
  •  Mechachaneng Primary School:  garden tools (spades, rakes & watering cans)

Items were purchased in late July 2014 just before the schools opened for the Second Term.  Deliveries were made to two of the three schools at the end of July.  Suggestions were solicited from the selected schools beforehand so that items presented were items that were needed or desired.  All items were received by the schools with excitement and thanksgiving.  A future visit to the schools will be made to see how the materials have been used (such as the cultural dance outfits made from the material and how the art supplies have been utilized).

They share the following story:

The Sekamaneng Primary School is one of the few primary schools in Lesotho still teaching and doing art.  All the students do art!  The staff has been very resourceful in encouraging art even without proper art supplies.  They have even been using feathers for paint brushes!

The students have been making jewelry from whatever materials they can find (candy wrappers folded into headbands and heavy calendar paper cut into thin strips and wound into beads to make bracelets and necklaces).  The jewelry produced is sold to earn some money for the school.

The delivery of brushes, paint (oil and water colors), modeling clay, and crayons brought much excitement to the staff and students!  They are eager to use the items to produce additional art work.  It will be interesting to see the artwork produced with the new materials.

The motto of the school is, “With God We Shall Shine.”  They are certainly doing that by using their artistic talents despite their limited resources.  The supplies they received will help to make that talent develop even further!

Scott Hospital Renovation Work:

Funds received from Global Ministries were used for a renovation project at Scott Hospital.  The major focus was renovating an older building to accommodate the dental facilities which were cramped into one small room.  In addition, the main gate entrance and adjacent security fencing near the entrance were re-done.  Three rooms were totally refurbished to provide space for the dental department.  Work included:  removing old plaster (inside) and floor tiles; applying new plaster and floor tiles; painting all rooms (walls and ceiling); removing plaster from the outside walls and applying new plaster and paint; removal of the old roof and installation of a new roof; and minor electrical work.  The renovated space blends in perfectly with the other hospital buildings.  The space provides for an office as well as two patient rooms.  The work was done as per the specifications given and has been completed to the satisfaction of the hospital administration.  The security and appearance of the main gate entrance has also been improved. The transfer and installation of dental equipment was done and the renovated facility was mad operational.  There is now a vastly improved space for serving dental patients in an attractive environment.  More patients will be able to receive services and the dentist and assistants have a much better environment in which to work.  At the moment only one of the two patient rooms has an operational dental chair, but the other room will be similarly equipped once funding is secured. 

MTS Textbook and Library Book Fund:

Funds from Global Ministries were used to purchase textbooks.  There was some delay in acquiring the books as the bookstore had to order them from abroad, but this was known from the outset.  All the books ordered have now arrived.  The books purchased have helped to reduce the number of students who share textbooks.  In some instances, where there were no books at least now there are a few that can be shared.  As more funds become available additional copies will be ordered.  The books also have assisted the professors in doing class preparations and assignments as they know their students have books available to refer to.

The additional textbooks have made learning much easier for the students and aided the staff in their teaching and research.  The seminary director reported the following:

“This project has aroused high enthusiasm among instructors.  For example, one instructor of Church History (Reverend Tšeuoa) exclaimed after receiving the two volumes on The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ‘There are lots of important books and documents of Church History that need to be made available for our students.’  The second year theological students made their affirmation to me and said, ‘It feels good and encouraging to have easy access to the literature that is not only part of the syllabus, but actually prescribed for our courses.’”

Computers for Morija Seminary:

Funds from Global Ministries were used to purchase computers and printers for the Morija Theological School students and staff.  The Seminiary was able to purchase six new computers, complete with antivirus and Microsoft Office software installed.  These six new computers, as well as two existing computers, were networked to the Seminary’s photocopier.  This allows all printing to be done via the photocopier and eliminated the need to purchase printers which use costly cartridges. 

The availability of computers for the students (most of whom have had very limited, if any, exposure prior to now) has been an exciting development for them.  The seminary director reported the following:

“The faculty has proposed that a new subject of “Bibliographic and Referencing Methods” should be taught beginning next academic year (September 2014).  Until now it is hard for students to include references, especially foot-noting, in their hand-written assignments.  Once they begin using computers to type their work, it will be much easier to include references.

It was quite encouraging to see students entering the computer lab individually and on their own initiative even when there was no instructor.”

LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND GENDER ISSUES WORKSHOPS:

The project of the LEC Women’s Program involved holding workshops for church women on gender issues and leadership skills and purchasing equipment to assist with workshop preparation and presentation.  Funds for this project were used to purchase the following equipment:  laptop computer & software, LCD projector, and a digital camera.  Additional funds will be used to cover transportation, accommodations, and materials for the workshops.

The workshop portion of the project has not begun as yet.  Shortly before receiving notification that the project would be funded, a smaller-scale workshop had been planned for late May of 2013 with women representatives from most of the LEC presbyteries.  The plan is for follow-up workshops to be held in each of the twelve presbyteries (40-60 women per workshop), starting in late July of this year, which will utilize the remaining project funds.  There have been some scheduling problems which have delayed the initiation of these workshops.  The workshops will be coordinated and led by women who attended the May 2013 workshop, with assistance, as needed, from the Women’s Program Coordinator.  The workshops will:

  • help women develop skills in managing their own families
  • help women develop leadership skills for leading small groups within their communities and churches
  • provide training in issues  of gender equity and equality, as well as understanding that women’s rights are human rights
  • create an understanding on how gender-based violence and domestic violence can be contributing to HIV/AIDS
  • create an understanding on the importance of helping people attain food security to alleviate gender-based violence
  • provide functional literacy for women

The May 2013 workshop was very well received.  The participants had many positive comments and requested that additional workshops be held as there was not sufficient time to cover everything adequately.  Other opinions expressed the view that the knowledge gained in the workshop was very helpful.  It is apparent there is great interest and need for these workshops to continue.

Global Ministries welcomes additional gifts for special LEC projects such as these and others.



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