• It takes a village to raise a child



Country: Lesotho

enter image description here One of our longest relationships, LCH is a cooperative of women gathered from across the mountainous kingdom nation of Lesotho which is completely surrounded by the country of South Africa. We have been working with them since 2001. Their coop has 85% female membership and their management is almost 100% women.

There are numerous ethnic groups in Lesotho; but the most numerous is the Basotho people who also live in South Africa and Swaziland. The Kingdom of Lesotho once was a protectorate of South Africa; but is now an independent nation. The people of Lesotho are known throughout Africa and the world for their beautiful beadwork and their ability to create gorgeous tapestries from wool. They also weave beautiful baskets from sweet grass, which smells like a bit of heaven.

Lesotho has the third highest prevalence rates of HIV in the world. So, many of our artisans are not just facing poverty; but have the additional burden of being sick or caring for family members who are chronically ill. They depend on their income for basic needs and health items.

During the dry season especially, many women and their families depend entirely on income from their artwork to survive.

But, you would never know it by looking at the bright cheerful colors often used in their baskets nor from their smiling faces. There really is something amazing about the African woman’s ability to face adversity with grace.