Who are we?
ACT! is a non-profit organization based in Sandvika, Norway. It is a collaboration between Sandvika High School in Norway and Mamoeketsi Primary School in Lesotho. The board of ACT! is run by two teachers and four students from Sandvika High School. The members are:
Chairman of the Board: Ann S. Michaelsen
Board of directors: Silje Opstad, Liv Kristin Høgvold, Peter Saxhaug, Leah Dilly Khan-Barstad.
More info here: The Brønnøysund register centre
New group of teachers and students visiting Lesotho
Connecting future leaders
ACT is short for Achieving Communication Together. Our goal is to give financial and technological support to Mamoeketsi Primary School. Through fundraisers in Norway we are able to give high school scholarships to students of Mamoeketsi, as well as computers, exchange visits and a new school building. Our most important fundraiser is Dagsverk Lesotho(a days work for Lesotho) in October every year, where every student at Sandvika has to work and earn money for Mamoeketsi Primary School. With our slogan "Connecting Future Leaders" we see this project as a win-win situation for both schools involved. Mamoeketsi Primary School is being supported so that the kids can get the best possible education. Some students are also fortunate enough to come to Norway to experience our school, meet people and make international contacts.
Students from Sandvika High School have the possibility of helping other students less fortunate than themselves. The board of ACT! is also lucky enough to go to Lesotho and visit the school- this year the the trip was from the 21st September to the 28th of the same month.
It started as an unofficial organization in 2011 after Ann Michaelsen, a teacher from Sandvika High School, and Moliehi Sekese, a teacher from Mamoeketsi Primary School, met at Microsoft’s Worldwide Innovative Education Forum in Brazil in 2009. Ann and Moliehi kept in contact after the event and they managed to establish a great friendship.
In 2011 Ann established a Lesotho group at Sandvika High School with four other students, Martine Tonnem Knudsen, Sara Ismar, Ingerid Løyning Dale and Johannes Terjeson Bangum. In March 2012 they went to Lesotho to visit Mamoeketsi Primary School. It was an amazing trip where they made great connections with the students.
Video from the trip
In October the same year we arranged the first Dagsverk Lesotho. Every student at Sandvika High School worked for one day instead of attending class to earn 400 Norwgian Kroners, (64 dollars) which they gave to Mamoeketsi Primary School. The result was over 230 000 kroners! (36.715 dollars) It was a very successful day! We also arranged a football tournament and had days at school where we sold cakes and hotdogs to raise money.
In the spring of 2013 the Lesotho group was founded as an official organization with the name Norway Lesotho Connecting Future Leaders. As the students in the board where all graduating the same semester, four new students were welcomed into the organization. Leah Khan Barstad and Peter Solnør as board members and Kasper Lie Tønnersen and Ulrik Randsborg Lie as deputy members. Two new teachers were also included in the board, Silje Opstad and Liv Kristin Høgvold. As the official name of the organization is Norway Lesotho Connecting Future Leaders, we have chosen to use the name ACT! for the time being as it is an easier name to remember! We hope ACT! can help the students of Mamoeketsi Primary School with their education and their future. We are also confident that we can bring the students of Sandvika High School and Mamoeketsi Primary School closer together, so that they one day can work side by side as future leaders!
1. School building
We are currently involved in a project where we will be funding a new school building for our friends in Lesotho.
To be able to learn you need to be in a good environment, with plenty of space, resources and not to mention enough attention from the teachers. ACT has therefore decided to build a new school building for Mamoketsi in addition to the one they already have. With over 100 students in one class it is not easy to give the attention to each individual that is needed. In the new building we are planning we will give them (5) new classrooms and a new staffroom, as they do not have one at the moment. It is important that the teachers get their space as well. We hope we can start the building work in 2014.
We are now in the process of signing a contract with the builder. Here is information about what we will be spending money on. The quotations are in South African RAND.
- Site clearing,Trenching, Filling, Reinforcing,Foundation, Walls, Slab and Electrical piping = R105.500.00
- Brick work = R85,000.00
- Plastering= R 22,000.00
- Roofing and Electrical finishing = R38,000,00
- Total = R 220,000.00
- Building materials=R285,000.00
- Crushed stones =R47,436.25
- Rough sand =R18,706.35
- Building sand =R 16,137.50
- Bricks size 9 =R35,046.00
- Rricks size 4 =R6,000.00
- Total = R408,325.00
This is the building we need to tear down first:
ACT is currently working with the school Mamoketsi Primary School outside Maseru, Lesotho. There are several things we wish to do with the resources we already have. The first thing on our agenda is to buy new chairs for some of the classrooms. There is a sufficient lacking of decent chairs at the school. The children have to sit three and three on benches that are literally just metal frames and under a meter long. When we visited the school however, we heard no complaints from the students, they just got on with their work. This may have something to do with the fact that they are very keen on learning and finishing their education, which brings us to the next point on our agenda.
Facts about Lestoho
Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave — entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Its size is just over 30,000 km².
Lesotho has an estimated population of almost 1,900,000, with 85% literacy, one of the highest literacy rates in Africa
Its capital is Maseru.
It is the southernmost landlocked country in the world. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Its economy and stability is inextricably linked to that of South Africa where a quarter of the workforce are employed.
The name Lesotho translates roughly into "the land of the people who speak Sesotho".
About 40% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. It is a small mountainous kingdom surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Harsh winters and high altitudes make much of the country inaccessible in winter. Lesotho is one of the poorest countries in the world, completely surrounded by South Africa, with the 3rd highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. Approximately 30% of children are orphaned and life expectancy is less than 40 – half of that of countries in the developed world. Over 60% of the population is under 24 years of age.
In relation to Communications, according to 2009 figures, there were 40,000 fixed phone lines in use compared with 661,000 mobile phones. There were 632 Internet hosts (2010) and 76,800 Internet users (2009).
Access to telecommunications services in Lesotho is approximately 3% of the population for fixed line and just over 20% of the population for mobile. Internet access is very limited, with only 2% of residents subscribing to Internet services, with additional access at Internet cafes, primarily in Maseru. Major challenges to expanding the network include the difficult terrain and lack of electricity supply. (http://www.ist-africa.org/home/default.asp? page=doc-by-id&docid=5192)
Education in Leshoto
Public spending on education was 13.0% of GDP in 2006. There are seven years of compulsory education starting at age six. Net enrolment ratios are 72% for primary and 24% for secondary, and gross enrolment ratio for all levels combined 62% (2006). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 40:1 and for secondary 25:1 (2006). The school year starts in March.
Most educational supplies are imported from South Africa, and most of the textbooks used in schools and colleges in Lesotho are published in South Africa, the USA or the UK.
Schools in Lesotho
Education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 13. Primary schooling up to Standard 7 (grade 7) has been free in Lesotho since 2000. It was only in May 2010 that attendance at primary school was made compulsory. Nevertheless, approximately 25% of children do not attend school, particularly in rural areas where families involved in subsistence activities need their children's help to survive. There are 1500 primary schools in Lesotho. 18% of these are urban schools, 8% are semi-urban schools, while 78% are rural schools, situated high in the mountains. In the rainy period, these schools can often close due to obstacles on the route to school.
Secondary and tertiary education is neither free nor compulsory. High school fees are prohibitive, with charges for tuition and books. All secondary schools are comprehensive, geared towards the goal of obtaining entrance to a university. There are about 300 high schools in Lesotho.
Much of the formal education system is still run by missions and is largely administered by the three largest churches – the Roman Catholic Church, the Lesotho Evangelical Church, and the Anglican Church of Lesotho – under the direction of the Ministry of Education.
Lesotho's school system consists of twelve school years. The seven years of primary, or junior school (Grades 1-7), culminate in the Primary School Leaving Certificate. The three years of junior secondary school (high school—Forms A, B, C) culminate in the Junior Certificate (JC). The two years of higher secondary school (high school—Forms D—E) lead to the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) at the Ordinary Level (O levels).
At the age of six or seven, children attend comprehensive, academically oriented schools and study a core of general education subjects. Sesotho is the medium of instruction in the early grades, and English is taught as a school subject. The transfer to English is made as soon as possible, during the third or fourth year of schooling, and definitely by the time students reach high school. Sesotho is then taught as a school subject. Other subjects taught are mathematics, science, and social science. Gardening, handiwork, needlework, physical training, art, music, handwriting, and religious knowledge are also offered.
At the completion of the seventh year of junior school, an exam prepared by the Department of Education is administered. The result of this exam is the most important criterion for admission into secondary education, or high school. However, because of the shortage of secondary school places, passing the Lesotho Primary School Leaving Certificate, does not guarantee admission into a high school. Only about one in seven or eight of the more than 113,000 students enrolled in primary school can go on to secondary school.
One of the most important work we do is to help young people achieve their dreams by providing scholarships for high school.
Read article facts about Lesotho regarding high school costs in Lesotho.
There is a local high school, Masowe high school near Mamoeketsi Primary School where 4 children are attending their first year of high school with scholarships from our organization. Our wish is that many more students are able to enter high school and go on to university and colleges. We believe education is the key!
65 dollars is the cost of high school for one year. High school is 4 years in Lesotho. In addition they need school uniforms and textbooks.
If you want to help us please donate 70 dollars. Use our bank account number and please mark you payment with “scholarship”.
The new school building
Latest deveolment: pictures taken August 2014
Latest deveopents: pictures taken early April 2014:
Our first priority is to provide the funding for a new school building. We are proud to say that the work has started!
Do you want to donate and help?
Our organization “Norway Lesotho Connecting Future Leaders” was established 30.04.2013. You can find the official information about the foundation here.
Our mission is to help the students of Maseru primary school. In our regulations we have the following: The association will provide the financial help setting up a new school building and fund the expenses associated with the construction and the maintenance that follows. In addition we will annually help fund scholarships for students who need financial aid attending high school.
If you would like to help us in our work our bank is Norway Lesotho Connecting future leaders. bank is DNB Bank ASA, account number 1503.37.39246
|Papirformatert IBAN-kontonummer||NO64 1503 3739 246|
Thanks to our sponsors
Here we will mention our donors..