Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lesotho According to the CIA World Fact Book…

Country: Lesotho

People: Basotho

Language: Sesotho

Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Total Area: 30,355 sq km

Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Natural Resources: water, agriculture and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stones

Population: 2,130,819

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): 77.4/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy at Birth: 40 years

HIV Prevalence rate: 23.3% (in other words, 1 in 4 people are positive. And from what I’ve heard this may be a conservative estimate)

Unemployment Rate: 45%

Population below poverty line: 49%

Transnational Issues or International Disputes: None


Energizers are a BIG part of Kick4Life programming. They are usually done at the beginning of practices to get kids laughing and excited about K4L. This is one of the most popular and if you spend any time at an intervention or at the Kick4Life pitch with the coaches you will most definitely "ride a pony".

The guy leading this energizer is Saby. He is one of our most dedicated and talented coaches. A real character. Right now we have 20 coaches who are trained in the Kick4Life 2.0 curriculum, which is the newest version of our curriculum. They are all volunteers and most work running interventions or at the office 2-4 hours a day. They receive small stipends for transportation and running interventions. They are an amazing group of people, both men and women, and I feel so lucky to be able to work with them. They bring a lot of energy to the organization and it has been really great/funny getting to know them all.

Lumela (Pronounced Dumela) from the Kingdom

First off I apologize for taking so long to get going on my blog. Time seems to fly by here and before I knew it two months were gone. Before I get into any of the happenings of my life here I want to give you all a quick introduction to Grassroot Soccer and Kick4Life. Technically I am a Grassroot Soccer Intern, however, I live in Lesotho and will be working with GRS’s implementing partner here, Kick4Life. Kick4Life has a similar mission statement to Grassroot Soccer but is a much newer and smaller organization. Kick4Life was founded in 2005 and have since focused their efforts in Lesotho in southern Africa, delivering a range of programmes focused on tackling HIV by providing sports-based health education, voluntary testing, life-skills development and support into education and employment. Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world and hundreds of thousands of children have been orphaned by the disease.

I will try not to overwhelm you with information and stories right away. I do have a lot to share and it is difficult to know where to start. My first two months here have been amazing and tough all at the same time. I think this is the first time that I have truly experienced culture shock and it's only now after two months that I am beginning to feel settled. I have already learned a great deal and am really looking forward to what this year will bring for me. I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. I would absolutely not be here without all of you. I will do my best to keep my blog as up to date as possible. It will be a variety of stories, thoughts, videos, links....really just a place for me get my thoughts and experiences into writing. I'm going to break up the first few posts with some photos and videos so it's not too text heavy. I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned...