QMC’s mission is to provide financial assistance for sustainable food, water
and education programs for the people of Qholaqhoe, Lesotho.
Qholaqhoe Mountain Connections – Helping the People of Lesotho
Qholaqhoe Mountain Connections (QMC) was established in 2009 in response the dire needs of the population of the rural Qholaqhoe Mountain region of the country of Lesotho, a developing country geographically surrounded by South Africa. Known for its stunningly dramatic mountain topography, Lesotho also has a mostly barren landscape and is plagued with erosion and the resulting poor soil quality. 75% of the population of 2.2 million people live in remote, rural areas and eke out a living as subsistence farmers. With less than 10 percent of the country’s acreage tillable, rural families struggle to survive on small plots of land with low yields.
Health issues are also a constant challenge with TB and HIV being major health challenges in the country. The HIV rate hovers at about 25%, giving Lesotho the dubious distinction of having the second highest rate of infection in the world.
Primary school education throughout Lesotho is free, and the country sees an attendance rate of over 90% for both boys and girls. However, secondary school education is tuition based with parents responsible for providing about $250 a year to send a child to high school. Not surprisingly, attendance rates drop off dramatically as families do not have the means to send their children to school. Latest figures indicate that, nationally, just over 50% of girls and only 35% of boys attend secondary school. Sadly, only 10% of students hold a high school diploma.
In order to positively impact the lives of students in this remote region, QMC provides tuition assistance to nearly 70 students at Qholaqhoe High School and currently supports 8 students at The National University of Lesotho. These opportunities for an education can be life changing.You can learn more about both programs by clicking here or by going to the Scholarships Tab above.
"One Step Away from Famine"
According to the United Nations, "devastating drought in the southern African nation of Lesotho has left more than half of the people facing severe food shortages and tens of thousands ‘one step away from famine.’” The report says that most of the people affected by this food insecurity live in rural areas throughout the country. The Qholaqhoe Mountain area has been hard hit by this crisis. Qholaqhoe High School staff have identified a great many students who are living alone with no food (many parents have gone to South Africa to find work, leaving their children behind). There is literally nothing in their small rondaval homes to eat. These students do chores after school and are given left over food from the lunch cooking pots and the "crusts,” baked on to those pots while cooking the papa, a stiff porridge made from maize or corn. Others come to school hungry and malnourished. According to the QHS principal, "kids look tired, some look sick, some don’t come to school anymore.”
Students write to us, telling us, first hand, how difficult the situation is:
"Here in Lesotho it it too scorchy without any drops of rain. Our land is so dry that we cannot even plant anything. As for the animals,there is no grass for them to graze, there is no water for them to drink: it is so bad." – Home Mota
"The sun is too hot and most of my school mates are suffering from the common cold (the flu). This season has changed a lot. There is a lot of dust like autumn. We lost hope in planting and harvest to get food.” – Matemolio Clenene
QMC is addressing this need by seeking increased funding for its Emergency Food Fund which currently supports about 75 students. The reality of the situation though, indicates that many more bellies are crying out for food. You can make a difference!
Simply go to the Donate button above or click here and make your donation to help ease hunger at Qholaqhoe High School.