Lesotho

Lesotho

A landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. Known as ‘The Kingdom in the Sky’, it is the only country in the world entirely situated above 1000 meters in elevation. The Basatho people have a distinct cultural identity evident in their traditional attire, particularly the Basotho blanket and hat (mokorotlo). Lesotho’s youth (15-24) accounts for approximately 60% of its working age population.

The main challenges that young people face

HIV pandemic: The high prevalence of HIV/AIDS which leads to complex social challenges.

Low quality education: Limited access to quality education due to resource constraints and high dropout rates.
High youth unemployment rates: Contributing to economic inequality and social problems like crime and substance abuse.

Current programming

Clubs and Camps

Psychosocial support programmes for children and young people living with HIV to access, adhere and suppress their viral load and reduce new infections and reinfections. The goal is to build resilience and ensure those living with HIV have improved treatment adherence and quality of life. We have a mandate to improve retention to care, and treatment uptake for children and young people from 0-24 in 40 health facilities in four districts.

  • This works is supported by the Centre for Disease Control through the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and contributes to the 95 95 95 UNAIDS targets.

Youth Hub Programme

Through advocacy, we facilitate the engagement of young people, their communities, and related stakeholders in efforts around better health, education and social rights.

  • Includes increasing adolescent girls’ and young women’s knowledge of individual perceptions of risk and their access to overall health, sexual and reproductive health services.
  • This work contributes to the first 95 in the UNAIDS 2030 targets and is supported by The Global Fund.

Socio-Economic Strengthening Programme:

This programme addresses the underlying challenge of wealth inequity by providing capital investment for young women’s business start-ups, links to vocational training, advocacy training, and access to business management training.

  • This work is supported by The Global Fund and serves to address economic and livelihood vulnerability.

Regeneration of Landscapes and Livelihoods

The programme supports communities to regenerate landscapes and access natural resources they need to make a living. We establish regeneration coalitions from the community-based interest groups and build their capacity to access financial resources and sustain their communities, landscapes and livelihoods.

  • We are the implementing partner alongside Avocado Vision, funded by the Government of Lesotho and with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Global Environment Facility.

Herd Boys Comprehensive Livelihood Program

Designed to ensure that herd boys, one of the most disadvantaged subpopulations in Lesotho, access a diverse range of necessary services that are hard for them to access due to the nomadic nature of their lives.

Learn more about ongoing activities

Health & Wellness Day at GrandBay Botanical Gardens and Resort Botswana

Shaping the programmes for ourselves

I’m Mpho Letšela, a 25-year-old male from Mokhotlong District, Lesotho. I joined the Let Youth Lead Programme in 2021 as a youth advocate. With support from UNICEF, Sentebale and the Ministry of Health teamed up for this initiative. Our mission is to empower young people like me and other national stakeholders to keep a close eye on the quality of health services, especially for children and young people.

My main task is to apply a scorecard as a social accountability tool among adolescents using the Molika-liko health facility in Mokhotlong. I also pushed for more youth-friendly services. Being part of Let Youth Lead has been a game-changer for me. It’s boosted my confidence, especially as an advocate for my peers. Now, thanks to our efforts, the Molika-liko Health Centre has an adolescent health day every Friday. It’s a win for us, especially for young guys who might feel hesitant about visiting health centres. We’re directly shaping the health services we receive.

I feel empowered and now understand that it’s my responsibility as a young leader to stand up for other young people”

Mpho, Sentebale Youth

Our Partners