Devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho has left almost 200,000 children orphaned and at-risk of abuse. Many are cared for by impoverished, courageous grandmothers, whose own children have died of AIDS-related causes. Skillshare International is empowering these silent heroes who rescue these children, to be more equipped to support them, and to become economically self-sufficient through improved access to finance. This is being done by introducing Community Savings and Loan Schemes and a Grandmother training and support programme. The EC has pledged 70% of the funding so all we need now to make it happen is your help.

Grandma and grandson tying shoelaces in LesothoDevastation caused by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho has left almost 200,000 children orphaned and at risk of abuse. Many are cared for by impoverished, courageous grandmothers, whose own children have died of AIDS-related causes.

Skillshare International is empowering these silent heroes who rescue these children, to be better equipped to support them, and to become economically self-sufficient through improved access to finance. This is being done by introducing Community Savings and Loan Schemes and a Grandmother training and support programme.

The lives of orphaned children in Lesotho, who have lost their parents due to AIDS, will be transformed. Without the project they would be alone, or just surviving with their Grandmothers, who barely have the resources to care for them. We need to protect them from abuse and exploitation. This project is ensuring they have the care and support systems they deserve.

The total cost of the project over 3 years is £303,363. The European Commission in Lesotho has very kindly pledged £171,998. But they don't fund the total cost and insist on the project raising match funding, so we are asking you for £5,000 by the end of January 2014 through Crowdfunder. This means that every £1 you give will release just over £2 from the European Commission.

Children at a rural school in LesothoOlder women (widowed grandmothers) in rural communities are now the only refuge for the protection and care of the orphans in their villages. Most of these courageous women have lost their own children and husbands through AIDS-related issues and are grieving. Now, instead of being cared for by their grown up children, they are dedicating themselves and the scarce resources they have, to the orphans and vulnerable children left behind.

Your money will help to deliver a training and support programme for Grandmothers who care for orphans, and also a credit and savings scheme along with small business training and creation. This will mean that the orphans recieve great care, and that also the carers have the finance to provide food, medical care, school fees and school uniforms.

Even such a small thing as having a good school uniform makes the life changing difference between having an education or not. This sustainable project is providing the next generation with the support, confidence and skills they need to lead their communities to defeat the issues they face. Please help us along the way. Many thanks.

CSLS kids in Lesotho

All photos copyright Help Lesotho - project partner

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