“March 2020 will forever be known as the time all the world’s schools closed their doors.”
These were the words of Lesotho Deputy Minister of Education, the Honorable ‘Mamookho Phiri, at a handover ceremony of COVID-19 equipment and hygiene support on October 16 this year.
The handover, which took place at Thetsane High School, one of Lesotho’s 10 FutureLife-Now! pilot schools, was made possible through COVID-19 emergency funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooporation (SDC). It was facilitated by MIET AFRICA, in partnership with Global Hope Mobilization (GLOHOMO) and the Lesotho ministries of Education and Health.
Because of COVID-19 regulations, the handover attendees were limited to school principals, funders and ministerial representatives.
Equipment included face masks, face shields, thermal thermometers, soap, water tanks, and beds. This equipment was identified through a rapid needs assessment, undertaken by GLOHOMO in all FutureLife-Now! schools. According to Deputy Minister Phiri, the assessment report highlighted that key challenges facing schools relate to handwashing, enforcing of social-distancing and accessing personal protective equipment.
“The report reflected that the pandemic has shown to us that WASH facilities are inadequate in many schools,” she added.
Over the past few months, schools in Lesotho have reopened and the equipment has been delivered to the FutureLife-Now! schools and adjacent health centres and clinics. This will contribute to the health and safety of all returning learners.
According to Rantsane Kuleile, FutureLife-Now! Country Manager in Lesotho, delivery of COVID-19 equipment and hygiene support “put schools in a position to ensure the safety of our children against this pandemic”.