6 Basotho win Chevening scholarships
SIX Basotho students have been awarded Chevening scholarships to pursue post-graduate studies in the United Kingdom starting this October.
The award follows the visit of the British High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor to Lesotho this week.
Macgregor was in the country to discuss economic and political issues of common interest.
The High Commissioner also met Foreign Affairs Minister Tlohang Sekhamane, Trade Minister Joshua Setipa and Energy Minister Selibe Mochoboroane.
Macgregor said the Chevening scholarship “offers a life-changing opportunity for six students from Lesotho”.
“We are proud to support the education, skills and development of the next generation of leaders in Lesotho,” she said.
“This maintains the increased level of Chevening scholarships awarded to Lesotho, which took effect in 2015 and brings the overall number of awards given to Lesotho over the years to 80,” the High Commission said in a statement.
Macgregor welcomed the selection of ’Maletšabisa Molapo as a Queen’s Young Leader. Molapo is a computer engineer and led the team that founded the Her Chance to Be Foundation, an organisation committed to improving the lives of women and girls in Lesotho.
The High Commissioner congratulated Molapo on her impressive work and recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
She wished Molapo well when she travels to the UK later this month to meet the Queen and receive her award as a Queen’s Young Leader.
“I look forward to learn from fellow award winners and other people that I’ll meet to find new ways of doing things and running projects. I’ll be exposed to new opportunities for myself and my organisation that lie beyond what I currently know,” she said.
In a statement, the UK High Commission said it will provide three million pounds to deal with the drought emergency.
“Southern Africa is in the grip of an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since October 2015, the start of the agricultural season,” the statement said.
“Lesotho and other countries in the region experienced the driest conditions in the last 35 years due to a severe El Niño. The low rainfall and changes in rainfall patterns delayed planting and reduced cultivation of staple food crops.
“Pastures and water for livestock dried up, and many families lost cattle, sheep and goats. Frost damage killed germinating plants and heavy rains in February-March 2016 came too late to save wilted crops.”
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili last December declared a drought emergency following two consecutive years of low rainfall.
“The UK Department for International Development will contribute £3 million to the humanitarian drought response in Lesotho through the United Nations Humanitarian appeal for assistance for food security, access to water, and recovery of livelihoods,” the statement reads.
“The expansion of humanitarian assistance in Lesotho will bolster the Emergency Drought Response programme which is currently targeting assistance to over 375 000 people throughout the country.”
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