by John Fitzsimons, CEO Camara Education

We travelled over the weekend from Lusaka to Maseru…

Lesotho versus Ireland, downtown Maseru

Lesotho versus Ireland, downtown Maseru

I wrote previously about the lure of the World Cup here in Africa. Everyone is glued to their TV for the duration. So come Sunday afternoon, there is only one thing to do- find some local kids and pitch Ireland, a one man team, against Lesotho’s best. Football is an excellent way to bring people together and break down barriers!

 

Back down to business on Monday…

Camara Lesotho has been struggling for a number of years. The country has lots of challenges and it is questionable where ICT in Education fits on the list of priorities. Schools have also been stung in the past with overly complex ICT solutions, unaccompanied by requisite training, support and content.

Camara Lesotho Training (Ramosoeu in red). It’s winter in Lesotho at this time of year.

Camara Lesotho Training (Ramosoeu in red). It’s winter in Lesotho at this time of year.

So in order to continue to support existing schools, and to be able to serve those schools that are eager to implement the Camara model, we recently shifted our focus from upcountry to the capital Maseru. Thanks to a number of our generous donors and partners, we have now opened a new training centre. The last time I was here we were planning the room layout. I was delighted to walk into the room on this occasion and find it packed with teachers being trained by our super trainer Ramosoeu.

In order to ensure the sustainability of our operations we have also begun to offer training to the public in Maseru to generate revenue. This will subsidise the price of eLearning packages for struggling schools and enable us to continue to make an impact in Lesotho.

With the social enterprise model, there is a sustainable way forward. If we could not apply these business principles and take a flexible approach to this challenge in Lesotho, it is uncertain whether we would have had a future in this country.

What is so powerful about this story is that locally generated revenue will support local schools, and provide Basotho (the term for people from Lesotho) with the opportunity to gain 21st century skills as well. A Lesotho solution for Lesotho!