Lesotho, is a landlocked country completely surrounded by its only neighboring country, South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population slightly over two million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.
Lesotho, with a population of 2.1 million people, is very challenged as a nation. The impact of the high rate of HIV/AIDS (24% of the population) has left many children without parents. With over 40% unemployment, almost half the population lives on less than a $1 per day. With people struggling to provide for their families, children become expendable and are abandoned.
Communities in and around Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, have been greatly impacted by the combined devastating effects of poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. The traditional community that embraced a culture of caring for one another has been largely eroded by the struggles mentioned above.
The city is grossly overpopulated with many coming from the mountains seeking employment and finding a culture very different from the one the Basotho have known for many years. Many wander the streets of Maseru seeking work and many family units have only one breadwinner providing for their needs. There are an estimated 200,000 orphans (10% of the population) living in Lesotho adding to an already burdened social structure.
One of our aims as Beautiful Gate Lesotho is to use native Basotho people and provide an opportunity for them to make an income and provide for their families. This would in turn lead to the orphans being cared for within a caring environment without losing the Basotho tradition and cultural values. We currently have approximately 50 local staff caring for these vulnerable children.
It takes a community to raise a child.