Mathuso Moroeng – Lesotho

Mathuso Moroeng – Lesotho

Date: May 29, 2012
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I work with Sedibeng, and the main objective of my work is to aid in the eradication of abuse of women and children. When I first came to meet Gender Links, I felt like it was all a new experience to me. I had never experienced something like it. I had some hints of what it might be like coming to a GL summit, but didn’t know exactly what to expect. I enjoyed the experience of meeting people from all over SADC, and sharing experiences with them. Exchanging practices is very important to me, and it’s important to all our work that we keep learning from each other. I was able to bring so many experiences back to Maseru that I know my work will be richer.

I work with children on a daily basis, and a lot of the issues that came up at the 2012 GL summit are very close to my heart. I recently graduated from a course developed by REPPSI (for child care givers), and I feel like all the knowledge that I gained there was very empowering.

I am grateful for the communications skills I’ve learned through my interactions with Gender Links. I first put them to use at a UN Youth Anniversary function. I spoke, and at the second meeting, I was introduced to everybody. They asked me many questions, and I had the confidence to give answers to them. The very important point that we are always learning, is the method of approach to people is important. I learnt that through GL. It helps because I realise my mistakes, and I can go back and re-evaluate my approach. We all make mistakes, but if we are open to support and improvement, we will move in the right direction.

Mme Mpho helped me to get to where I am now. When we have problems, we always call her. And she helps us all the time. Sometimes she proposes a time, and then she comes and discusses our problems and she helps. We once had a problem with a child whose parents had passed away and some of the family members had taken the property of the parents. When we approached Mme Mpho, she told us which court to go to , and how to go about the issue diplomatically. The former GL facilitator taught us all how to be sensitive to the plight of women and children. I am grateful for the fact that Mme Mpho remembered me, even when she made the move from WLSA to join Gender Links.

I have many changes in my life. Since meeting with GL, I have become a master trainer now, and I am well equipped to work with children. I am proud of these achievements, and I know the skills I have learned through Gender Links have helped me along the way. In particular, my communicating and networking skill shave been strengthened. I am very happy with the approach we learned; we were passed tools that we have really been able to take up and use.

The local chief, UN agencies, NGO’s and community based organizations all contribute to my motivation. I hold their work in very high esteem, and I learn a lot from them.

In my own organization, I have done a lot to lobby for children to be retained in school for instance. I like to be able to help people who are not fully able to help themselves. Now, many of the children I have cared for since childhood have graduated, and seeing the success they have achieved in life gives me a passion for my work, and a belief that I can also make changes in others.

In the future, I plan to diversify income generating activities for both me and my organization. I have already started growing mushrooms, and am going to start pig rearing soon. Expanding animal rearing and gardening are high on my list of priorities. As an organization, we plan to acquire a tent and chairs for hiring out, so that all members can be more financially sustainable. We need to be sure that if funds dry up, we will keep on going.

This is my third summit to date, and I feel like things are growing. Sometimes, I am saddened by the lack of progress in Lesotho. Care work particularly is a huge challenge; there is no salary or stipend, and any recognition or support for care workers comes from civil society, and not from government. But I think by sharing examples and information throughout the region, we will improve. I hope that I will take part in formal training the future; I look forward to that, as I have been very happy with the interactions we’ve had so far.



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