Quthing is the southern-most town of Lesotho, located close to the border of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Quthing has a second name, Moyeni, which means “the place of the wind.”The culture is diverse with 3 basic ethnic groups: Basotho (70% of the population), Baxhosa, and Baputhi.
About 40% of the country’s population live below the poverty line. As of 2013, the population of Quthing is 24,130 and about 24% of the district’s residents have the HIV/AIDS virus. Sadly, many of those affected are children.
Children of Quthing
Children in Quthing are often left to fend for themselves as the adults travel to the South African border in search of work. Many homes rely heavily on food aid and remittances from relatives living elsewhere. Traditionally, the community is able to handle the needs of every child in the neighbourhood but this is no longer happening because of the growing population and health issues. Many children are out-of-school youths and enticed into the illegal sex trade business or prostitution.
International aid has been pouring into Lesotho but the problem of food and nutritional sustenance is so widespread across the country that the programmes on better farming techniques are barely touching the surface.
Our work in Quthing
SOS Children has been working in the country for the past 26 years. In Quthing, the land currently being used by the SOS Children’s Village was donated by the local government. Work officially started in 2010 and has become a reliable source of medical and educational assistance as well as counselling and guidance for the people of Quthing.
The primary focus of the SOS Children’s Village was to attend to the medical needs of those affected by the HIV/AIDS virus and their families. The open and voluntary support given by SOS Children to the families affected by HIV/AIDS helped to strengthen the community’s support system rather than split them apart.
In line with the health care programme of SOS Children, education, career guidance, income generation, and parental counselling are also considered critical to the community’s survival.
Caring family home
In our Children's Village, there are several SOS families capable of caring for up to 120 abandoned children. These children go to school alongside children from neighbouring communities. Younger children are enrolled in a day care service so parents can attend skills training, counselling, or guidance on how they can earn to support their families.
SOS Children has a unique opportunity to provide essential care at the ground root level; care that can impact lives of young children who may otherwise never see their way out of frustrating cycle of poverty and despair.
With SOS Children’s Village in Quthing, the children learn to hope in a future that is full of respect, love and security. Will you help these children, and sponsor a child today?