Project Spotlight: Her Chance To Be
It is becoming increasingly undeniable that education is the foundation for one to achieve their highest potential. This basic need is unfortunately not accessible for many people around the world, in many cases it is young girls and women who miss out on this opportunity. Her Chance To Be Foundation (HCTBF) in Lesotho was formed to improve the lives of women and girl children.
The organisation was founded to address a great gap that exists in educational opportunities for girls in general, especially rural-born girls who face various challenges including lack of finances to pursue their high schools education. To address this, HCTBF decided to establish a programme that offers fully funded merit based scholarships to high achieving young girls from less privileged backgrounds. The organisation was founded by ten (10) young Basotho women who share a passion for education and women empowerment. They identify these girls and place them in the best high schools in Lesotho, covering all school related expenses; tuition, boarding fees, boarding school needs, monthly stipend, transport and books. The scholars also enrol in a mentorship programme that motivates and offer them career guidance. The mentorship programme also trains the girls in writing skills, public speaking and presentation through participatory activities during school breaks.
Scholarships per student is between M15 000 and M17 000 annually. Since it was formulated in 2013 the foundation has raise over M200 000 from personal contributions by the founders and donations from supporters. Even with limited funding, HCTBF continues to strive for greater impact. The organisation extends the training and mentorship programme to other girls who are not scholars. The new initiative is delivered through bi-annual workshops in rural villages, with over 70 girls having been mentored so far, reaching many parts of the country that are often overlooked by aid programmes.
The founders share a common purpose to have an impact on the lives of Basotho girls, to give them a chance to quality education, a chance to dream, a chance to develop and a chance to be free and fulfilled, hence the name “Her” Chance To Be Foundation. Current scholars are from Maseru, Mafeteng, Butha Buthe and Qacha’s Nek districts; however the organisation targets all the ten districts in Lesotho.
Operating and managing a non profit organisation comes with great challenges and obstacles in implementing their mandates, especially resources such as funding. HCTBF also has its share of challenges as they do not have a major donor, however with due to the founders dedication give back to their country, they have committed to contribute their personal savings every month without fail to the organisation’s coffers, while working on securing significant funders for maximum impact. HCTBF is run by individuals who are all either employed, studying or both – in different time zones, which poses a challenge when they have to coordinate meeting and scheduling, however they try to make use of communication technology to ease this challenge. The organisation has benefitted from volunteers, once off donations, advisory and mentorship support from Advocate Mary Bosiu.
The official launch of the organisation garnered a lot of interest and excitement from the public and stakeholders, not just for what the organisation intended to do but also as national pride towards a local organisation founded and funded by Basotho women with a vision to make an impact in the lives of girls and women, as most impactful initiatives are founded, run and funded by external bodies. Even though the excitement seems to be diminishing at times, and promised assistance is not always delivered, Basotho in general continue to cheer on the initiative.
Seeing impact is one of the key drivers for social value driven organisations, hence HCTBF cites seeing impressive results of Junior Certificate of their scholars; two passed with First Class and one with a Merit that placed her in the country’s Top 8 Best Performers. Recognition also does encourage founders of NGOs as it is the case with HCTBF; an invitation from the Queen’s Tea Party to introduce the organisation to the highly esteemed guests, as well as being featured in Advocate Mary Bosiu’s book; Success Fundamentals Vol II are some of the highlights that keep the team motivated.
HCTBF aims to offer a scholarship experience that will launch the scholars into a successful career path as confident, young women leaders. The first group of scholarship recipients are currently in their last year of high school. The Founding members; ‘Malets’abisa Molapo – Mosoeu, Lindiwe Seotsanyana, Pinki Manong, Mpeli Takane, Lineo Mejaele, Limpho Morie, Pulane Shao, Grace Molisana, ‘Malifomo Monokoa, Kefiloe Sello, are IT Specialists, Lawyers, Social Workers, Lecturers, Mathematicians, Accountants and Anthropologists who contribute their vast and diverse knowledge and experience to the foundation.
No gift is too small for Her Chance To Be Foundation. Those interested in learning more about the organisation visit www.herchancetobe.org , email firstname.lastname@example.org, Mpesa number for donations is 50246830, and visit the Her Chance To Be Facebook page