Posted by: APO | 12 July 2010

UNICEF signs US$ 1.2 Million cooperation agreement with World Vision Lesotho and Sentebale to assist and empower orphans and other vulnerable children.



UNICEF signs US$ 1.2 Million cooperation agreement with World Vision Lesotho and Sentebale to assist and empower orphans and other vulnerable children.


MASERU, Lesotho, July 12, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Under the overall umbrella of the Government of Lesotho, European

Commission and UNICEF Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s programme UNICEF joins forces with civil society to support the most vulnerable children.


Maseru, Lesotho 12 July 2010 – Civil Society organizations, World Vision Lesotho and Sentebale, received over US$ 1.2 Million from UNICEF last week as they entered into an agreement to support scaling up of an integrated social protection system for orphans and other vulnerable children in Lesotho.


The agreement falls under the overall umbrella of the Government of Lesotho (GoL), European Commission and UNICEF, Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s

(OVC) Programme (2007-2011) which seeks to empower 60,000 OVC to cope with their challenging circumstances through interventions such as education, health, psychosocial assistance, life skills, food and nutrition and social protection within supportive communities where caring for OVC is everyone’s responsibility.


The ultimate aim is to contribute to the fulfillment of Lesotho’s vision for OVCs which is a society within which all vulnerable children, including orphans, are free from discrimination, live in dignity and to their full potential, and have their rights and aspirations fulfilled.


“The broader OVC programme, which is funded by the EU, seeks to reduce children’s vulnerabilities, especially in light of the many challenges posed by HIV and AIDS, and ensure that we break the cycle of poverty that is passed from one generation to the next. Civil society is a key partner to foster community involvement at grassroots level and empower them to take care of OVC” said Dr. Naqib Safi, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Lesotho


Through the agreement, World Vision Lesotho will receive US$ 950,000 to reach an estimated 60,000 OVCs with community based interventions aimed at eliminating barriers to accessing services such as education, health, protection, HIV prevention and food and nutrition.

“We are very grateful to be able to contribute to reach the most vulnerable children and ensure they are safeguarded by existing social protection mechanisms and nurtured and empowered within community environments to be able to meet their basic needs” said World Vision Lesotho Country Director Mr. Martin Silutongwe.


Sentebale, a charity supporting OVC, founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso, will receive US$ 267,000 to strengthen its Letsema network of service providers working with OVC. The network, which comprises over

325 organisations, is committed to fostering cooperation, collaboration and communication between all OVC funders and service providers in Lesotho through the collection and dissemination of information. On average over 60 organisations meet on a monthly basis to share information at the Letsema Forum.



“It is very evident that effective collaboration is key to making the biggest impact for the most vulnerable children and communities in Lesotho and this is why we established the Letsema network. This support will go a long way in ensuring an integrated and collaborative approach to support OVC” said Becky Banton, Sentebale, Letsema support officer.


One component under the broader OVC programme implemented by GoL and supported financially by the European Commission (EC) and technically by UNICEF, is the Lesotho Child Grants programme which was launched in April

2009 and to date has reached over 3,300 OVC living in 1,250 households with a regular quarterly payment of Maloti 360 (about US$ 38).


“All these activities and the involvement of civil society organizations will be instrumental in reaching the most vulnerable OVC with a holistic package of social protection interventions to reduce their vulnerability, break the cycle of poverty that engulfs over half of the population and realize the right of every child to reach their full potential” said Ms.

Mantsenki Mphalane, Chief Child Welfare Officer, Ministry of health and Social Welfare.



United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)



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