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.

Below are 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 has been facing an alarming phenomenon: More young adolescents between the ages of 11 and 15 have been dropping 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, some are cared for by elderly grandparents, while others are responsible for their younger siblings. Many of these youth have problems with marijuana use and sniff glue.

The SNJM Project is a diversified action program designed to help young people build a better life. It offers youth in difficulty meeting activities that encourage storytelling, awareness of values like respect, development of life skills, and – with the collaboration of local schools – helps them return to schools in the area where they receive the nutrition and education that they need. The project also seeks to involve parents and relatives of these young people in awareness activities and workshops.

Objectives: Contribute to ensuring a future to young orphans or abandoned children by promoting their personal fulfillment, their their education and their nutrition.

Where: Maseru at Mabathoana Convent

Famine Relief

It is estimated that one-third of Lesotho’s population of 2,200,000 suffers from malnutrition. This country, where 80% of the population lives on food crops, has been badly hit by the devastating effects of El Niño.

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.