Sentebale educates herd boys in Mokhotlong
On the 14th October, Sentebale opened a new night school for herd boys in the mountainous and remote region of Mateanong in Mokhotlong, Lesotho. His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho attended the opening ceremony along with Sentebale’s co-founder Prince Seeiso and local chiefs.
Herd boys are one of the most vulnerable groups of young people in Lesotho. Boys from as young as eight years old are sent to the remote highlands to care for livestock as a way of earning an income for their families. Consequently, they miss out on the opportunity to receive a formal education and access to public health services. Since Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso set up Sentebale in 2006, efforts have been made to give these children an education by working with local communities to establish herd boy night schools where the boys receive a basic education and life skills.
Prince Seeiso said, “In 2004, Prince Harry helped build a bridge not far from where we are today, making transport easier for the people. In February this year, he laid the foundation of this new night school…He has shown his love for this country and the people.”
Hundreds of people flocked from afar by foot and on horseback to attend the ceremony to celebrate the future Sentebale is giving these herd boys. Fruit trees were planted behind the school to signify this new start, along with many traditional songs and dances being performed.
The Minister of Social Development said; “Sentebale is helping the government in providing basic education for herd boys. We are now bridging the gap in primary education thanks to Sentebale.”
His Majesty King Letsie III commended Sentebale for giving the herd boys a chance for receiving an education and told the herd boys, “Education is very important, I hope you will use the opportunity given to you and you will work hard.”
The event was also attended by Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale, who commented, “I last visited Mokhotlong in February with Prince Harry, where this was just an open plot of land. I am delighted to see the school completed and hope it will be well used and provide a focal point for the whole community as well as a place for the herd boys to get the education and support they need.”
The new school, along with the refurbishment of an existing herd boy school, have been funded through our partnership with Dubai Cares who Sentebale has been working with since 2011. Prince Seeiso thanked Dubai Cares for their support.