Inspired by the spirituality of Mother Marie-Rose Durocher, her educational vision and her concern for justice, our congregation has been able to adapt to the needs and issues of the various local communities where the sisters are present.

In Lesotho, our action takes many forms. We work in education and pastoral animation. We are also very involved in health care through dispensaries and clinics to help, among others, AIDS patients. Some of us work in hospitals and maternity clinics.

Our knowledge of the various environments, both urban and rural, leads us to initiate ourselves or with others, mobilizing projects. Some of these projects help disabled and / or orphaned children. Others help build family services to deal with extreme poverty and famine.

Still others aim to mentor adolescents left on their own to enable them to flourish and become responsible adults. Always determined to meet the needs, we extended our works to the neighboring country, South Africa and more particularly to Qwa-Qwa where we have a school institution.

At the same time, we actively participate in the calls for justice launched throughout the congregation to promote the fundamental rights of the person, the dignity of the person and the health of our planet. We are very happy to have collaborated in the process of analysis and reflection and to have adopted, with our sisters from the other SNJM provinces, three Corporate Stands on very current themes for Lesotho:

  • Fight against human trafficking
  • Universal access to water
  • Migrants and refugees



Invited to participate in the Lesotho Evangelization Project, our congregation of Catholic Teaching Women Religious quickly taken stock of the educational needs of the people of Lesotho.

From the beginning, we paid special attention to young children, always bearing in mind the approach and spirit of Mother Marie-Rose. We have designed and adapted our educational programs to take into account the evolution of society, places, conditions and individuals.

We have invested in schooling from preschool level to higher education. Home economics, nursing and computer classes have also been added over the years.

The development of the educational component in Lesotho always respects the philosophy of our foundress, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, to promote the full development of the person. Discover our educational institutions…

Mazenod High School

Before the creation of this high school, Lesotho’s first Normal School was located on this site to train teachers. It must be remembered that when the SNJM arrived in Lesotho, there were no schools. To promote the education of young Basotho, it was absolutely necessary to start by training people properly. The SNJM held this normal school until the government assumed new responsibilities in the field of education in the late 20th century.

The end of the Normal School, however, gave birth to Mazenod High School. This girls’ boarding school was founded to support youth and young adults by offering an education open to knowledge and skills.

The faculty is particularly concerned with meeting the needs of students in all areas: moral, spiritual and emotional. This is part of the philosophy of Mother Marie-Rose, foundress of the congregation of Catholic religious teachers, who has made every effort to promote the full development of the person.

Teachers respond to a number of other challenges, including preparing young people to behave in the presence of AIDS victims, while raising awareness of this pervasive plague in Lesotho.

Mazenod, Maseru, Lesotho

Holy Names High School

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) of Lesotho created this high school with the deep conviction that every human being should have access to knowledge.

The team of teachers pays particular attention to coaching by learning discipline and meeting deadlines, for example. The curriculum is designed to promote learning of important and useful subjects for all students to help them become autonomous, responsible and active adults in society.

Since its foundation, the Holy Names High School has attracted many students, many of whom have come from afar. The establishment, with its residence for girls, is a popular educational venue. It offers equal opportunities to young girls. The school was built in Bela Bela district, in Berea, in the city of King Makhetha.

Bela Bela, Leribe, Lesotho

Maryland High School

This school was created in 1987 to meet an urgent need and considered a priority, that of ensuring a place in high school to hundreds of young students who have completed their primary education. At the time, we wanted to prevent young people from ending on the streets without being able to develop their talents.

In the face of emergency, the bishop in charge of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church took charge of the creation of this high school. He, however, entrusted the management and full authority to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) recognized for their quality teaching.

This mission was enthusiastically accepted by the SNJM as it was part of the spirit of our religious congregation where the emphasis is on the full development of people.

20 teachers and 8 support staff annually train about 300 students. The school offers a diverse curriculum that includes learning English, Sesotho, math, religion, science, home economics, woodworking, commercial subjects and more, agriculture, geography, etc.

Maryland, Leribe, Lesotho

Mabathoana High School

Created in 1965 by SNJM sisters, at the request of the Archbishop of Maseru, Emmanuel ‘Mabathoana, this Catholic high school met the needs of the population of Maseru, then in full expansion.

The school offers an academic framework to train young people in all dimensions: social, physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual.

The school is concerned with developing each student’s gifts and talents and encouraging their curiosity and thirst for learning.

The goal is to build a strong, creative, innovative community with a focus on fostering entrepreneurship in the hope of reducing poverty in the country.

Maseru, Maseru, Lesotho

St. Rose Primary School

St. Rose Primary School is home to boarders and day students. It provides a quality education in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Education of the country while drawing on the approach of the foundress Mother Marie-Rose Durocher for the integral development of each individual.

Of medium size, this school welcomes about 360 students of various levels (1 to 7). It counts on a team of ten qualified teachers.

St. Rose Primary School offers free primary education. Most of the students are vulnerable or orphans.

Peka, Leribe, Lesotho

St. Bernadette Primary School

Located in the capital of Maseru, south of the cathedral, this Catholic primary school complies with the country’s free and compulsory primary education policy, adopted in 2000.

St. Bernadette Primary School is unique in its status as an integrated school that welcomes all young people regardless of their disability. It is the only school that cares for visually impaired students. It currently has more than 70 young people with visual impairments.

Created by the SNJM on January 29, 1957 as an English language school, today it welcomes more than 2025 students. About 40 qualified teachers contribute to the respect of a teaching program that aims to promote quality learning for all students, despite their disability.

All lay and religious staff work in the spirit of the foundress of the SNJM, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher.

Maseru, Maseru, Lesotho

Little Flower Pre-School and Primary School

The tenacity of Oblate missionaries and parents explains the creation of this Catholic school in Little Flower parish. Built in 1960 under the direction of Father Odilon, OMI, the school at that time had four classrooms and a community hall that served as a place of worship on Sundays.

Nowadays, the school offers kindergarten and primary school services. It hosts some 300 young people. It has seven classrooms, a hall, a kitchen and a reception room.

The regular school curriculum is taught while paying attention to psychological, spiritual and social development. Many of the students are AIDS orphans. They are made aware of the measures to be taken to avoid making them vulnerable to the disease and the risks of child trafficking.

This school belongs to the diocese. It is however entirely managed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).

Kolonyama, Leribe, Lesotho

St. Ambrose Pre-School and Primary School

The St. Ambrose Pre-School kindergarten began in 2001, under the direction of Sister Francisca Kuleile, in one of the rooms available at the St. Ambrose Convent. Since 2004, a separate building has been built to house this new institution, which has been joined by a day care center.

In the face of success and at the request of the parents, it was decided to create a primary school. It was created in 2012 with 12 students (Grade 1). The SNJM-funded school in Lesotho was headed by Sr Angelina Tlali and Sr Carmelita. The number of students has increased rapidly. To meet the demand, the school began providing accommodation to students from poor families, still sponsored by SNJM Lesotho Province.

Nowadays, parents pay school fees for their children, which allows the school to maintain its quality education. Recognized by the government, the school has increased its public outreach. Its offer of computer lessons also encourages parents to enroll their children in this school.

There are currently some 213 primary and 97 preschool students. There is a team of seven qualified primary teachers and four preschool teachers. As in most of our establishments, food is offered during breaks and dinner. Three women are also responsible for the supervision of the residents.

Mazenod, Maseru, Lesotho

Marie-Rose Pre-School

The Marie Rose Pre-School nursery welcomes about one hundred young people aged nine months to six years. The proposed program meets the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of these young people and prepares them for elementary school.

Reading activities to develop language, stimulate children and open them to the world are organized. Others focus on ways of communicating that go far beyond words and sentences. It integrates dance, music and arts always with the aim of getting them to explore their environment, reflect and develop their ideas.

The program also includes mathematical concepts to make people aware of the reality of numbers, of space, of measurements while developing their memory.

The approach of this school helps children to establish their values, develop their self-esteem and involve them in decision-making.

The school is located in South Africa, more specifically in Qwa-Qwa, in the Diocese of Bethlehem. It comprises four classes, a hall, food storage areas, a room with kitchenette and sanitary facilities.

Qwa-Qwa, South Africa

Sisters of the Holy Names Computer College

The first school of its kind in Lesotho, the Computer College of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) was founded in 1999. It has grown since then by establishing itself as a training and educational center. recognized training with the Government of Lesotho and the Ministry of Commerce. It holds the ICDL / ECDL (International European Computer Driving License).

The College’s mandate is to train a skilled workforce that can meet the challenges of computer technology. It is also committed to providing a promising future for all young people, including orphans and children from impoverished families.

The curriculum includes an information technology certificate covering all aspects of computer use, including word processing, database, spreadsheets and more. The second certificate awarded complies with the European Computer License.

Peka, Leribe, Lesotho

Health care

Lesotho is one of the countries hardest hit by AIDS (HIV). In 2017, UNAIDS estimated the number of people infected at 320,000, or nearly 25 per cent of the population. The impacts of this situation are terrible, in particular, by making one quarter of the children orphans.

This explains the national effort to deal with this scourge. It is estimated that more than 50% of the hospitals belong to the Church and that a high percentage of care and support for people living with HIV in the country is the work of religious organizations such as ours.

In this particular situation, come all the evils connected to the extreme poverty of the Basotho families. It is estimated that 40% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition. In addition, food insecurity has become a recurring problem. Repetitive drought patterns in southern Africa have severely affected Lesotho, of which only 9 percent is agricultural land.

Over the years, we have created numerous dispensaries and clinics to provide health care and maternity clinics. Even today, we continue our work in many institutions and some hospitals.

Here is an overview of a few of them.

St. Rose Health Centre

The motto of our St. Rose Health Center is a reflection of our approach:


In the context of Lesotho, struggling with the ravages of AIDS and food insecurity, a source of many diseases, our clinic offers a wide range of services to the population, especially women and children.

We find:

  • Prenatal health services
  • Follow-ups of the pregnant mother
  • Accompanying mothers and babies to monitor the child’s growth and stop malnutrition as soon as possible
  • Immunization services (vaccination) to prevent diseases such as measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus in children under one year of age. There is also a prevention program for ringworm and blindness for children 6 months to 5 years old through tablets.
  • HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, while encouraging people to take appropriate measures to avoid being affected by the virus, etc.
  • HIV testing services to get people to know their status quickly and get treatment quickly
  • A specific program for the prevention and follow-up of cervical cancer, especially among HIV-positive women
  • Tuberculosis-related services including screening and awareness programs on health measures, as well as TB care and appropriate medications

Our health center also distributes all medications needed to treat patients after consultation or for regular follow-up of patients. Among the most common are antiretrovirals and drugs for hypertension and diabetes.

Peka, Maseru, Lesotho

Little Flower Health Centre

The Little Flower Health Center has had a new site since January 2014. The center serves some 30 villages with an estimated target population of approximately 18,120 people, of whom 9,288 are women of childbearing age. There are approximately 2,392 people under the age of five.

The clinic is mainly oriented towards health services for children and maternity. This Catholic health facility is owned by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) since its inception in 1961. At the time, it was known as the St. Rose Health Center. It essentially offered health services to children under five. We followed the weight of the children and the whole aspect of nutrition.

The number of children has since grown enormously. A businessman, known as Dare, has helped by offering the sisters a home that can better meet the needs of this ever-growing clientele. This explains the new location in 2014.

This Catholic health facility plays an important role in the region.

Kolonyama, Lesotho

Maryland Health Centre

Open to all patients, regardless of their beliefs and conditions, the Maryland Health Center is dedicated to providing quality health services to the entire community of Leribe District.

This non-profit organization is owned and run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), a Catholic religious congregation. Its motto is:

“Be one heart and mind in the service of the community and remain a burning candle in the world.”

It strives to provide quality health care without discrimination. Its caregivers act in respect of each. In the context of the HIV epidemic in the country, the clinic has taken an approach to encourage people to take the test.

Always with respect for everyone, we take the time to educate people on the aspects of this disease and the medical consequences of refusing treatment. We seek to provide all relevant information to enable each person to make an informed decision.

The Maryland Health Center was established in 1957 to address a significant need for health services in the District of Leribe.
Leribe, Lesotho

Paki Health Centre

The Paki Health Center is known for the excellent quality of services offered to the Basotho population. It is the result of the teamwork of 33 staff members: nurses, counselors and others, including those from NGOs.

The creation of this center is a direct spin-off of the Nursing School that the SNJMs have set up in Lesotho. This school has trained many nurses and health care workers. The presence of these well-trained people enabled existing dispensaries and clinics to benefit from their skills and encouraged some local communities to build a center, as was the case for the Paki Health Center.

The purpose of this dispensary is to provide primary health care and immunization services to the people of Mazenod. It currently serves about twenty villages with some 14,000 inhabitants.

The services offered to the population are varied. There is maternal and child health care, assisted delivery, direct patient service, antiretroviral surveillance and screening. The Center has set up four health posts that are visited four times a month.

The challenges of health clinics such as Paki often come from the difficulties of supplying antiretrovirals and complementary products. In a country devastated by AIDS, this problem affects the services offered. Currently, the center has more than 2,000 patients on antiretroviral therapy.

The facility receives government financial assistance that essentially pays for nursing and medication costs.
Ha Paki, Mazenod, Lesotho

We are also involved in these other health care facilities.

Dispensary – Mission Ste-Thérèse, BELA BELA
Dispensary – Convent of Mazenod, MAZENOD
Dispensary / Maternity Clinic – Maryland Convent, LERIBE
Hospital – Seminary of Ste-Thérèse, ROMA
Dispensary – Convent of Sebetia, SEBETIA
Dispensary – Convent of Ste-Bernadette, MASERU
Infirmary – Convent of ‘Mabathoana, MASERU
House Ste-Angela – Abia, MASERU
Dispensary – Marie-Rose Convent, Mangaung Village, QWA QWA, South Africa

Community Projects

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) of Lesotho are engaged in many ways while always keeping in mind the full development of the human person.

We work with people and other organizations in the community to create and maintain activities and services that can help marginalized populations immediately. This union of forces allows us to be more effective in the field and / or respond more adequately to the needs expressed.

Some of us have implemented projects to meet specific or urgent needs in some localities, others have integrated structures in place to support and promote the development of this resource.

Discover two recent projects that are currently undergoing a fundraising campaign abroad to maintain and develop them. Those interested in supporting these ministries can donate.

Reaching out to teenagers

In recent years, the city of Maseru is facing an alarming phenomenon: the presence of more and more young adolescents aged 11 to 15 having dropped out of school, begging for food and money and sleeping under rocks or bushes on the hillside.

Most of these children come from families who have left their villages to settle in the suburbs of the big city in the hope of finding work. Unfortunately, these families rarely find jobs and have more problems than in their villages. They can not take care of their children anymore.

Some of these adolescents are orphans, sometimes cared for by elderly grandparents or even become responsible for their siblings at a very young age. Many of these youth have problems with marijuana use and sniff glue.

The SNJM project offers a diversified action program to help young people build a better life: to offer meeting activities to share their stories, to make them aware of the notions of respect, to help them develop their life skills, to help them return to school with the collaboration of schools in the area and feed them. It also plans to involve the parents and relatives of these young people in awareness activities and workshops.

Objectives: Contribute to give a future to young orphans or abandoned by their families by promoting their personal fulfillment, their return to school and by providing them with food.

Where: Maseru at Mabathoana Convent

Famine Relief

It is estimated that one-third of Lesotho’s population of 2,200,000 does not have enough food. This country, where 80% of the population lives on food crops, is badly hit by the devastating effects of the El Niño climate phenomenon in southern Africa.

Successive episodes of drought have exhausted the meager reserves of farmers who fail to obtain significant harvests. In addition, the lack of water imposes particularly difficult sanitary conditions for a population already afflicted by AIDS (23% of the affected population). In the absence of water, patients and women who have to give birth have returned home while AIDS patients, who need to consume more calories, are even more vulnerable.

Purpose: To feed children and families in need.

Where: The work is located at the Sainte-Rose Convent in Peka, a suburb of Maseru, capital of Lesotho.


In addition to working with the people and organizations in each community where we operate, our international congregation has developed close relationships with international non-governmental organizations focused on justice, peace and development, including Unanima and Development and Peace.

In Lesotho, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) contribute to and participate in the Transformation Resources Center (TRC). Established in 1979, this center has adopted a patient persuasion approach, focused on dialogue, research, information, training, publication, community presence, partnerships, networking, lobbying and advocacy rights.

We are very proud to be a member of this ecumenical resource center which aims to improve the living conditions of marginalized populations and to focus on the defense of human rights, access to water, the protection of the environment and the rule of law.