Ha Bua-Sono – The graduation of the second cohort of rise’s in loco design, build & entrepreneurship fellowship programme takes place on the 20th March 2020 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. This year’s cohort of fellows have designed and built the country’s first ever community centre for IDAL (Intellectual Disability and Autism Lesotho), a parent led association sponsored by Standard Lesotho Bank and their partners. The beautiful all timber structure is central to the transformation of a 10,000sqm section of arable land in Ha Bua-Sono, 20 kms north of Maseru in Berea. It will become an educational, health and sensory wonderland for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, to learn life and social skills, as well as how to run small businesses in a safe and therapeutic setting.
The in loco fellowship, is a practical ‘learning by doing’ training programme for talented young ‘job seekers’, who have graduated from the built environment sector, supporting them to become ‘job creators’, through a ground breaking programme of mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and ongoing practical support for their businesses. The ‘in loco’ hands-on learning programme means the fellows do this through working with communities to build much needed infrastructural development for Lesotho, while bringing about social change.
“We were very excited when IDAL approached us to take on the challenge of designing and building a very ambitious project with a limited budget in an agricultural area.” says Daniela Gusman, rise’s Founder and Executive Director. “We are very proud of our team and fellows who did an amazing job of completing this project in a record 7 months. We had to think creatively to design off-the grid nonpermanent structures that would serve the needs of IDAL’s members as well as those of the neighbouring community.”
Makhetha Moshabesha, public relations officer of IDAL, admits that, “the centre will provide a space in which people with autism and intellectual disabilities will not only be able to access skills, it will also serve as a place where our people will get to practice these learned skills and start to use them to earn an income.”
One of the rise alumni from the previous cohort, Kopano Nthebe, was recruited as the site foreman for this project and had already launched his own business. “Before I joined rise I wanted to have my own business but had no idea how to go about it. The professional development sessions rise organizes have been awesome and I now know how to set up and grow my business so that I can create jobs. As well as unlimited access to rise resources such as office space with free Internet and a tools library, rise also refers business to us, which is great as it injects much needed income into our companies.”
Manyathela Kheleli, speaking on behalf of Standard Lesotho Bank as the main sponsor of the project, emphasized that the bank has a deep desire to be in touch with the nation, remarking that, “SLB is not only a bank by Basotho, it is also for Basotho as well.” In conclusion, Mr Khotle, on behalf of Limkokwing University added that, “As the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, we commend the graduates on their hard work, all the
partners in this initiative that continue to breathe new life in the training and development of Lesotho’s built environment professionals and continue to direct the same towards the many proverbial unturned stones before them.”
Rise is, a non-profit social enterprise, is working towards a world where sustainable social enterprises, created by local entrepreneurs from low income countries, are the norm. rise has been piloting the programme in Lesotho since November 2017 with a view to expand to other African countries in the future.
Through rise’s professional network, rise links aspiring social entrepreneurs to fundamental resources in order to fulfill their potential. www.riseint.org