THE ministries of Social Development and Forestry and international development agency, Social Workers Beyond Borders, are jointly holding a five-day entrepreneurship workshop for 15 Mafeteng families who are beneficiaries of government’s quarterly child-grants.
The seminar, which started on Monday and ends tomorrow in Mafeteng, seeks to empower the beneficiaries with skills on how to start beekeeping and fruit-cultivation projects, as well as bookkeeping.
Social Development Operations Director Refuoe Pakela told the Lesotho Times: “The families are being trained on projects of their choice; we didn’t impose anything on them because at the end of the day, the families have to do something they are passionate about.
“Social Workers Beyond Borders is currently teaching the families how to save their grants so they can use the money on projects they would be starting after this training.
“The Ministry of Social Development will meet the trainees halfway with cash that will help them launch their projects.”
According to Mr Pakela, it is extremely important for the families to be self-reliant as the grants are withdrawn once a child reaches the age of 18 years.
“We would want to discourage this dependency syndrome especially among people who can work for themselves and earn a living, hence the importance of this initiative,” he added.
Mr Pakela further said staff from his ministry would continually monitor the projects and provide support to ensure their survival.
“The plan is that after two years, and if the projects are a success, these 15 families are replaced by others on the waiting list.
“The projects are going to be continuing since our aim is to have independent communities which do not need grants or assistance from anyone for survival,” Mr Pakela said.