RISE from the ashes!

RISE from the ashes!

MASERU – ORPHAN care is not about someone doing everything, but about everyone doing something. This is the spirit displayed by Relationship Inspiring Social Enterprise (RISE), a charity organisation working with sustainable social enterprises and individual business-minded people from low income sub-Saharan African countries to take care of orphans. RISE is building dormitories for God’s Love Centre orphanage in Sekamaneng.

Touched by the overcrowding at the orphanage RISE came to the rescue of adolescents and young children who were enduring uncomfortable conditions. The new building will accommodate teenagers, leaving the current dormitory for younger children. RISE links aspiring social entrepreneurs to key resources they would otherwise not access to fulfill their potential, said the organisation’s founder Daniela Guzman,

Guzman said RISE, which is headquartered in Kenya, is piloting an eight-month “exciting” programme called “in loco” which combines architecture with entrepreneurship. Apparently this is the first project which RISE will embark on in the country using the “in loco” methodology, the hands on design and build experience focused on knowledge exchange, capacity building, cooperation and development.

In loco provides fellowship opportunities to entrepreneurs such as architects, carpenters and engineers in the construction and infrastructure sectors, to empower them with knowledge and hands on experience on how to set up a business. The programme has a particular focus on community development projects.

“RISE works particularly with youths who have completed their higher learning studies in Lesotho, a country close to my heart since 2009 when I was with Kick4Life,” Guzman, who is based in Maseru, said. Speaking on behalf of the in loco fellows, Sebabatso Lepolesa praised the programme for equipping them with entrepreneurial skills such as management and technical capacity building.

Guzman partnered with institutions that included Lerotholi Polytechnic, Limkokwing University, National University of Lesotho and Institute of Development Management who designed buildings for the past three months. God’s Love Centre, which is the community partner, was in dire need of the help. Over 45 children are crammed in a house with just two dormitory rooms.

“The new site on which the construction will be built will accommodate the adolescent youths while the existing site will continue to house the younger orphans and vulnerable children below 13 years of age,’’ Guzman said. The new accommodation will serve as a transition point for these children, who are taught income generating activities such as computer skills, piggery, poultry and crop farming.

Eight companies have committed to donate materials for the project.
The companies are Afrisam, Alliance Insurance, First Aid Tyre, Thetsane Paint Centre, Scribante, Leader Hardware and Sefalana Cash and Carry as well as Vodacom for financial support.

The founder of God’s Love Centre, Neo Motantši, said the orphanage was established in 2000 in Ha Mabote before relocating to Sekamaneng in 2008.
“We are very excited about RISE. For many years we have been crying out endlessly about having too many children living in just two bedrooms,” Motantši said.

“We wished we had a second home where youths could be separated from the younger children, and now our dream has come true,” she said.
The income generating activities will enhance the children’s lives. “We are so happy to be starting construction as soon as we receive the building permit from the Maseru City Council, after months of preparation,” Guzman said.

The potential for this pioneering model is exciting, both in southern Africa and across the continent, said Guzman.
RISE said the project can help young Basotho entrepreneurs create more jobs for their peers.

Tokase Mphutlane

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