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Lesotho Scholarships


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"We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away." -Franklin D. Roosevelt




Lesotho

Not very big, as nations go, the country’s total population is about the same as Houston, Texas. A mountainous landlocked country entirely contained within the boundaries of South Africa, travel on its only 4,000 miles of poorly paved roads ranges from treacherous to impossible. Most people in rural areas ride donkeys or horses, or walk. The terrain is beyond rugged; isolated villages are accessible only by foot or horseback. Only about 10% of the land is arable. Winters can be brutal, with snow and sub-freezing temperatures. Lesotho has the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS and fourth highest rate of drug resistant TB in the world, resulting in an average life-expectancy of just 36 years. It is one of the poorest nations in the world. Hardly a tourist destination, it’s not on the way to anywhere. If you’re there, it’s because you live there or want to be there.


Andrew Dernovsek, a young Pueblo, Colorado man, wanted to be there. He lived there for two years as a U.S. Peace Corp volunteer in the tiny town of Ketane, with no running water and no electricity other than what he generated himself. He had to walk three hours to the top of a mountain to get a cell phone signal.

The local people were fascinated with his laptop computer, which he taught a few of them to use. Resourceful, innovative, and deeply caring, Andrew searched for ways to make his time in Ketane produce permanent benefits. He partnered with a remarkable woman named Janissa Balcomb in Idaho, to create a program to provide Ketane school children with simplified, beginner-level laptop computers. Thus was born “Laptops to Lesotho” (L2L) which provides laptops for the school, and trains local citizens to use them and teach the school children. The accomplishments and progress of this remarkable grassroots enterprise are described on their website laptopstolesotho.org.

Back home in Pueblo, Colorado, among those who heard Andrew tell his Lesotho story were Dr. Jack Wilson and Hamp and Sherrie Howey. The Wilson-Howey family shared in creating The Foundation for International Professional Exchange (FIPE). Greatly impressed by what young Andrew and his L-2-L friends are doing, FIPE bought some laptop computers for the Lesotho project and arranged for the principal of the Nohana Primary School in Ketane, Matlabe Teba, to visit Pueblo, Colorado. 49-year old Matlabe Teba holds a BA with Honors from Free State University and two Masters Degrees. He loves his village, his school and its kids, and is thrilled beyond measure about the L2L Project.
Click here for an article about Matlabe visiting Pueblo schools in March 2011.





Matlabe Teba-FIPE
Academic Scholarship

The Nohana Primary School, funded by the State, educates children from grades 1 through 7. Unlike Primary school, secondary education is not paid for by the state, making it extremely difficult in this poor nation for children to receive a high school level education and continue on to university. Recognizing that education is beneficial not only to the individual, but to his family, his village, his country and the world, and hoping to improve educational and future employment opportunities for the children of Ketane, FIPE created the Matlabe Teba-FIPE Academic Scholarship. Beginning in November 2011, this scholarship will be available to any student completing the 7th grade at Nohana Primary School, so that they may attend the secondary school for their 8th grade year.

Each year, FIPE will provide scholarships in the amount of $200.00 (1,360 maloti) to two boys and two girls based upon the following:

        » superior academic achievement

        » good final exams results

        » attendance and satisfactory behavior

        » financial need

        » teacher recommendation

Students wishing to qualify for the scholarship will submit an essay entitled “What It Means To Me To Be A Citizen Of The World”. Scholarship recipients will be selected by Principal Teba and the teachers at Nohana Primary School. After completion of the first year at Nohana Secondary School, each recipient must re-apply for a scholarship for the next school term, and must maintain a minimum of Second Class Pass scores to be considered for a continuing scholarship.

It costs just $200 to educate a student for an entire year at Nohana Secondary School. Donate now using our secure PayPal page. Please specify the project that you want to support.


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