Tuesday, 09 December 2014 05:14

This report documents the activities of IVD 2014 in Lesotho, focusing on local participation of youth and volunteers involving organizations (VIOs) in the Kingdom. The report highlights the on the key issues of partnerships and local participation through youth groups and youth-focused VIOs operating at local levels in the country.
Preliminary planning for IVD 2014 was initiated and begun as early as during the process of developing the Annual Work Plan for 2014, when IVD was mentioned as a key component of the 2014 work plan and budget. However, the actual planning of activities for the celebrations started at about September 2014, with series of preliminary meetings with few VIOs in Lesotho. Initially, UNV Lesotho engaged the collaboration of seven youth-focused VIOs, including the National Volunteer Corps (NVC), the volunteer agency of government, administered by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation. The other organizations included: Rise Up Youth Organization, Campaign for Education Forum, Lesotho Best Models, Supreme Talents Agency, Lesotho Work Camp, SENTEBALE (The Princes’ Trust), LNFOD (disabled people agency), Lesotho Dance Association. These organizations were each represented on the planning committee by a volunteer or two or more volunteers.
The Term of Reference of the planning committee included the identification and development of programme activities for the IVD, identification of venues and participants for the activities and scheduling of activities leading the main celebrations on 5 December 2014. The Planning committee was chaired by the National volunteer Corps and co-chaired by two other VIOs, with UNV serving as a mentor. Upon Request, two UN agencies provided resource/material supports to aspect of the IVD 2014. The United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA) supported the organization and hosting of a one-day Youth Sports Tournament in Mohale’s Hoek District, while and United Nations Agency on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) provided support to the main celebrations day of IVD 2014 on 5 December in Maseru. The two UN agencies also added components to the activities of each event, to include awareness raising on life skills development for young Basotho. Though several activities were initially suggested to be included into the events leading to the main celebrations day on 5 December, however, due to logistics and resource limitations, the listing of activities was later modified to include the following events, which were successfully executed as parts of IVD 2014. As part of the celebrations of IVD 2014, UNV conducted series of activities leading to 5 December, the official day for the IVD celebrations. The IVD team selected 6 of the Lesotho’s 10 districts to conduct 3 different activities: namely, community youth sports tournament, community services to older people/old folks’ homes, and youth debates on volunteerism and its benefits for economic development.
A community youth sports tournament was held in Mohale’s Hoek in mid-November. The tournament involved seven youth sports teams: six male soccer teams, 3 female soccer teams and 2 female volleyball teams. Approximately 300 persons attended the tournament, and UNV and its partners endeavoured to reach everyone in attendance to participate in the offline My World Survey activities. Most people in attendance were students. The tournament was organized in collaboration with a local youth group and few community schools. Prizes for the participants were provided by UNFPA. The Prizes included sport kits, each containing sports (soccer and volleyball jerseys), balls, socks, and other soccer or volleyball equipment. UNV conducted a one day community service to old folks’ homes in Thaba Tseka as part of the IVD 2014. UNV and partners VIOs engaged the collaboration of a nursing college and technical institute to conduct the community activities at the homes of 6 very old ladies (ages 85 – 89). Students from the nursing college and UN volunteers and other VIOs conducted such activities as general clean-up of the residences of the old people (sweeping and cleaning), washing of dirty clothes and household utensils/dishes, resetting of household furniture, etc. Students from the Thaba Tseka Technical Institute carried out such activities as painting of walls and doors, repairs of super structure and roofing Students from 5 high schools in Botha Bothe District participated in a youth debate on volunteerism and its benefits to national economic development of Lesotho. The schools participating in the debate included St Paul High School, Soofia English Medium and High School, Likila High School, etc. The debate was not a competition with winners. Every student taking part in the debate received prizes of a certificate of participation and a medal. Two students who performed exceptionally well in the debate received an additional gold medal for their extra-ordinary performances. All certificates and medals were provided by UNV Lesotho. In attendance at the debate were the teachers of all participating schools, and the district education officer of Botha Bothe District Mr. Mosiuoa Moshoeshoe, and the youth development officer of the district. UNV also provided refreshment for all participants and spectators at the debate. The official celebrations of IVD 2014 in Lesotho took place on 5 December in Maseru. IVD 2014 planning team invited senior government officials to make statements on volunteerism at the programme. Those invited included Her Majesty The Queen of Lesotho, the Ministers of Gender/Youth, Health, and Social Development.
The programme kicked up in the morning with a parade (‘Fund Walk’) from the Sesotho National stadium to the Conference Room (Theatre) of the Ministry of Health. VIOs and youth groups and students who participated in various IVD activities participated in the March. Students and youth were transported from few districts to participate in the parade, as well as NVC volunteers assigned in various host organizations around Maseru and environs.
The parade was followed by an indoor programme, involving various activities, including a speech by the Minister of Health, who spoke on the benefits of volunteerism on the health of the person..
The Resident Coordinator of UN Lesotho, Ms. Karla Hershey spoke on Volunteerism and Gender-Based Violence, and their impacts on national development. Other speaking were representatives of the Minister of Gender and Youth, and the Minister of Social Development.
Highlights of the programme included a panel discussion on the “double Jeopardy” of HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence on Lesotho Development. This portion of the programme was facilitated in collaboration with a team from UNDP and UNAIDS as part of the 16 Days of Activism. The discussions were facilitated by UNAIDS and included panellists from UNV, UNDP and the Ministry of Gender.
Other highlights included a cultural performance on Gender-Based Violence and Violence against Women by a youth group based in Maseru. Every activity of the IVD 2014 in Lesotho was accompanied by a conduct of the My World Survey. A segment of each activity included awareness on the Post-2015 agenda and the conduct of the UN global survey on the world we want.
Other topics for awareness raising at these activities included volunteerism for peace and development, GBV, human rights, and gender equality. 1, 2All photos posted in this document can be credited to Cooper Mykers, UNV Programme Officer, Lesotho.

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