May 25, 2003 - Global Cafe: David Kasper - I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Lesotho at Bishop Allard Vocational School.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Lesotho: Peace Corps Lesotho : The Peace Corps in Lesotho: May 25, 2003 - Global Cafe: David Kasper - I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Lesotho at Bishop Allard Vocational School.

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 9:45 am: Edit Post

David Kasper - I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Lesotho at Bishop Allard Vocational School.

David Kasper - I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Lesotho at Bishop Allard Vocational School.

David Kasper

I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Lesotho at Bishop Allard Vocational School. The letters that follow were written by two of my best students. They are involved in the Life Skills Program for HIV/Aids- a peer education program.

Maphophi is a dynamic individual and the hardest working person on campus. She ensures that things get done. Maphophi manages the international drama tour, which receives donations from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. I trust her to carry on this project after my Peace Corps service has ended. Her dedication makes this project sustainable. She is making a huge impact on young teens here in Lesotho.

Nthabiseng is becoming a student leader on the campus. She is especially skilled at giving presentations during the Life Skills Workshops that we hold during the year.

Maphophi Ramathobi
I am a 19-year old Masotho studying domestic science in Leqele, a part of the capital city, Maseru.

My life is going in a direction I never imagined a few years ago. I had to drop out of high school because my mother had to quit work to have a baby. There wasn't enough money to pay my school fees. But today I am heading "on-the-road" for two weeks with 13 other classmates to do a national drama tour and peer education workshops on "Life Skills" and HIV-Aids prevention.

I am excited because the Peace Corps Volunteers on our campus are seeking funding to sustain this project. I can then pursue my goal of being a professional actress and manager of a traveling HIV-Aids drama group. My ultimate goal is to come to the U.S. and present our "traditional style" HIV-Aids dramas to American youth.

Like most young people in Lesotho, I am afraid of dating seriously because of HIV and the consequences of getting pregnant outside of marriage. I am a Catholic and birth control is a problem

for us, even though we know to use condoms.

Being a single women and living in Lesotho can be scary. We have a male-dominated society. There is a very high unemployment rate. Due to lack of wealth, there are not many self-employment opportunities.

This summer is going to be very exciting. Besides going on the drama tour, I will visit my mom and sister for two weeks. (My father died when I was two or three.) Then I will come back to school and work with David (one of our Peace Corps Volunteers) on our projects, such as house repairs, working on a concept paper for another drama tour, and conducting information workshops on HIV-Aids for villagers. The best thing is that I will get paid to do this! It will be my first paid job.

I am also going to present a workshop at a place where a Peace Corps Volunteer and I will stay in a hotel that has a pool. I love to swim and cannot afford to pay pool fees at the hotels.

I love popular music, watching the soaps on TV, spending time with my mom and cooking.

I have a problem with my left arm. It was shattered when I was seven years old. They wanted to amputate, but a doctor in South Africa saved the arm. Still, it is permanently crooked. I need to work to get enough money to afford a corrective operation. The scar tissue is ugly and very painful during the winter. It also prevents me from lifting heavy objects and doing strenuous work. Lifting and strenuous work are part of our culture.

But life goes on. I am happy now. I have hope.

I want to work to pay my younger sister's school fees and buy her things that I never had. I love my Mom so much; she works very hard. I want to earn money to put another bedroom on her lovely house, and to have indoor plumbing and a real bathroom. She deserves more than I can ever give her.
Another student's perspective: Nthabiseng

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Story Source: Global Cafe

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Lesotho; PCVs in the Field - Lesotho



By clarkbean ( on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 5:40 am: Edit Post

I was a PCV at the Ministry of Education from 1974 to 1978. I then taught at Mabathoana HS for a short time before moving to Machebang HS for 2 more years. Even in those days the men were very aggressive. It was difficult for a young woman not to have sex. Fortunately, we did not have HIV/AIDS in those days.
I have always felt that having sex, actually sharing your body with another person is the highest committment that one person can make to another. To have sex for fun or because of youthful hormones is wrong. My suggestion is:
1) Never go out alone, use the 'buddy' system.
2) Never go around people who have been drinking. It ruins their judgement. And NEVER drink, yourself.
3) If you do find the person who is really right for you. Insist on an AIDS test, BEFORE having sex. If he/she really loves you, they will gladly do this to protect themselves and their future family.
Growing up in this day and age is not easy. AIDS is just one more threat. Sala huntle, Ntate Naoa

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