Do you want to make a difference?
Ready for the challenge of a lifetime?
We are looking for..
Three inspirational teachers to join our team of local Primary School teachers and leaders to help improve education in rural Lesotho.
What you will do…
You will share your skills in teaching Numeracy and Literacy and mentor your new colleagues over a 1 to 3 month placement in rural Lesotho (bespoke placements available). During this time you will gain unique insight into Basotho life, people and culture, which you will share with schools in Wales.
Why do we need you….
Your unique personal and teaching skills will help keep our Award Winning Sustainability work in Lesotho moving forward. You will build upon existing work done and create new partnerships in schools and in teacher training. Three Basotho teachers will have the opportunity to visit Wales upon your return where they will in turn have the experience of a lifetime. You will help them become key change makers in their schools and community.
Who pays for this?
The Lesotho Teacher Placement Programme is a well-respected part of the British Council’s International Education Programme. This funding will pay for your trip to Lesotho, insurance cover and give you a monthly stipend to cover all of your daily expenses.
What to do next
If you are interested in joining us in 2020:
You will need to check that you are eligible to apply here.
You can email or call us to discuss any queries.
Finally you can download an application pack here (Dropbox).
(NB These documents may download directly into your downloads folder)
2020 applications are open
Deadline 11th October 2019
Interviews 19th October 2019
Email your completed form and CV to [email protected]
Contact our Education Officer on 02920 399577 for more information or read our FAQ's
- You need to be a qualified teacher who is from Wales or is teaching in a school in Wales
- You need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months prior to departure
- You need to be adaptable and flexible, open to coping in a new culture and climate
- You need to be in good physical an mental health
- You need to attend 2 training weekends prior to departure and complete appropriate administration tasks within the deadlines set
- You will receive a monthly stipend to help you with living costs during the placement (this will not cover a mortgage/rent/tax or pension contributions as you are a volunteer)
- You will be provided with a return air ticket to Lesotho and transport costs in country to get to your placement in Thaba Tseka
- You will be covered by our insurance policy during your placement
Contact our Education Officer on 02920 399577 for more information or read our FAQ's
With this brief message, may I salute all those who have contributed to the success of Dolen Cymru over the last 30 years.
The idea of developing a relationship between two countries over 6000 miles apart was never going to be easy but, as Wales and Lesotho pioneered this first country-to-country twinning, so Dolen Cymru has introduced many thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to one another and, in doing so, ensured a better understanding between our peoples. In the words of OT Sefako, the Lesotho High Commissioner in 1985, and the first chair of the organisation in Lesotho, the link offered "a new dimension in international relationships". In the 21st century, in an increasingly troubled world, Dolen Cymru offers a pattern of cooperation which is more relevant than ever.
Dr Carl Iwan Clowes OBE
Member of the Most Loyal Order of Ramatseatsana
Honorary Consul for Lesotho in Wales
Last week I found myself back in Maseru, the town which between 2011 and 2013 was my home, to finally launch the project that I’ve been slowly edging towards for the last 3 years. It all started in a pub in the City of London as I was preparing to leave for Lesotho, an exciting and ambitious, if vague plan to bring rugby to the children of the Mountain Kingdom whilst also delivering some simple messages about HIV.
For two years I worked with Lesotho’s pioneering rugby players to turn a game played on a tennis court by six guys into the fastest growing sport in the Kingdom and was bestowed the honour of being the first President of the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR). Since I returned in January, Iain Richards, Phil Fouche and I have been hatching a plan to bring to fruition our kids programme. And after a few months of discussions with Dolen Cymru, some weekends spent trying to think of rugby drills that emphasised the importance of vegetables in the diet (still open to suggestions), a rugby tournament in Wales and one very successful fundraising dinner, here we were.
The week was mostly spent at the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission with Litsitso Motseremeli and Roy Zhou. The room, which the FLR first shared with, and then essentially commandeered from the Handball Association, was bulging with rugby equipment. Tackle bags stood guard at the door. Litsitso and I would sit and the desk, the screens of our laptops jostling one another for space. Roy was perched precariously on the “balancing chair”, encouraged by our assurances that it was good for his core.
It was naive to think we would skip through the 10 session syllabus in the first morning. In fact, it took a slog of three days as we ground through each session, working through the structure, identifying the key messages, arguing over the health benefits of goat meat and sketching out games and drills on pages of Litsitso’s diary. But, by the end, we had something we all believed in. We hadn’t designed a rugby training programme – Litsito and Roy have been teaching school-kids how to play rugby for a couple of years now – we have developed an identity around the sport, one that taught the kids that if they wanted to be a rugby player, they needed to be aware of what it was to live a healthy and responsible life.
It’s hard to identify the moment something like this turns from concept to reality. Was it when we sat down and looked at the mess of a syllabus we’d drawn up – finished and good, but the digital equivalent of a writers original manuscript, a patchwork quilt of notes that only made sense to us and juxtaposed formatting. I suppose it was the first session Litsitso and Roy ran in a school the day after I left that made the Lesotho Rugby Academy real. But for me it was the day I was able to release the living allowance (to call it a wage would be an exaggeration) to Litsitso and Roy that for me marked the transition from concept to reality. For two years these guys have been working every day to grow the sport, getting by on £300 worth of mobile phone airtime donated by Econet, most of which is sold on to fund their fuel costs. Two bigger smiles there never were.
I had been humbled on my first day when I asked Litsitso, a father of two, how he had been getting by financially. He selflessly deferred the question: “I think I will answer only after you have asked Roy”. Roy also has a couple of kids, and I know things have been hard for these guys.
Having nailed the syllabus down we paid our respect to Government, and were met with the same non-committal enthusiasm I have grown to expect and accept, and a couple of potential local sponsors and old friends.
The Saturday was the national 7s tournament, the entirety of which I ended up refereeing despite a rather merry evening with old friends the night before. Exhausted and sunburnt by the end, I could barely lift the Dan Aylward Cup to hand to the winning team at the end, and I felt like I’d thoroughly earned the place my name has on it. It was not without controversy, with the National University having won the league phase, but been defeated by my old club, the second placed Maseru Kings, in a final, with a debate over whether the ball smacking someone in the head counted as a knock on surrounding the pivotal first try.
Leaving was hard. It had been a long week, and draining. Everything was in place. Litsitso brought tears to my eyes as I said a quiet goodbye to him and Roy in the car park to the gym where Lesotho Rugby was born. I realised that everything we’ve been working towards, the hundreds of people who have played a part in this story in one way or another, it all came down to these two guys, going into a school and delivering it for us. That is where it stands, and where it will succeed or fail. And I realised how much I need Litsitso and Roy.
On 6 October Roy and Litsitso went to the first school to begin the Lesotho Rugby Academy pilot programme. It will run until December, and we will update everyone to let them know how it is going.
Dolen is working in partnership with the Federation of Lesotho Rugby to deliver a rugby programme for school children in Lesotho and in September 2014 the Lesotho Rugby Academy was launched.
This programme works with schools to introduce kids to rugby whilst delivering some important messages about healthy living. In a desperately poor country where 1 in 4 of the population are HIV positive, rugby can offer children the chance to be part of a team and something to work hard for, whilst also teaching them about common health issues and how to avoid them.
NAME: Alex Ncheke
SCHOOL: Lesia High School
“I started playing rugby around 2015 when Coach Roy came to our school. Before that, I played handball and did athletics. I’d never played before, but had seen rugby on TV. I was a bit afraid. Coach Roy told me I had potential and encouraged me to join the Maseru Warriors where I learned new skills. I moved from No. 8 to the wing for a game in South Africa. That was a big lesson, but I scored a try.
"Coach Roy taught us a lot. He taught us about gender equality. He taught us how to protect ourselves from HIV, like wearing gloves when dressing a wound and that girls should not date old men. He taught us smoking was bad, that it can give you lung cancer and we shouldn’t smoke when we play sport, because our heart can beat twice as fast. He taught us that beer can damage your liver.
"Rugby helps you in your life so much. Rugby helped me to focus at school. After training I would do my school work. I got good marks – better than my friends who didn’t play rugby.
"I don’t drink or smoke, because I want to be healthy. At my town in Ha Tsolo, boys are acting like gangsters, sitting in bars. I might have joined them – there is nothing to keep you busy. Now I go the gym and I train."
The programme was the brainchild of Dan Aylward who spent 2 years working for the Lesotho government in Maseru.
Here are a few of the questions that we are most often asked about the teaching programme. If you have any further queries then just e-mail our Education Officer on [email protected]
- Where will I be placed in Lesotho?
- What are the programme dates?
- What about training and preparation?
- How do I apply?
- What will be expected of me?
- What about accommodation?
- What level of English will the teachers and students have?
- What kind of support will I receive?
- What about Visas, insurance and vaccinations?
It wasn't all teaching…. dropping 204metres down a waterfall is child's play after everything else…..
The whole point of the ILO is to encourage personal and professional growth by taking people out of their comfort zone. This weekend, I found myself as far away from my comfort zone as I could possibly be. I was on a trip to Semonkong with a group of Welsh teachers who have been in Lesotho for the last five months. Their aim was to complete the longest commercial abseil in the world as certified by the Guinness Book of Records. I was keen to visit so when I heard about the trip, I really wanted to join the group but didn’t think there was any way I would voluntarily walk off a cliff 204 meters from the ground.
When we arrived on Saturday morning, I immediately asked at the lodge if there was an alternative to the abseil. I was persuaded to take the training with the group and if still not comfortable, then I could do something else the next day. The problem I have is a fear of heights, or more accurately, a fear of falling from one so hanging from a rope is not really my dream activity.
The voice of reason was arguing that I should at least have a go so I decided my best strategy would be to do it without looking down. I allowed myself to be connected to the rope and started to walk backwards as instructed. About one step from the edge, I lost my nerve and tried to give up, however, the staff and the rest of our group gave me so much encouragement that I managed to dig deep and keep walking. I concentrated on taking one step at a time and tried not to look at how far off the ground I was. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it and just wanted to try it again to prove to myself that it wasn’t a one off. Each time, my confidence grew until I felt ready to try the big one.
Sleep was fitful on Saturday night as I started to feel the adrenaline pumping just at the thought of abseiling down the great Maletsunyane Falls. The day dawned and I started to prepare myself for the challenge ahead. By this point, the self-talk had changed from ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘I can do it’ and I was feeling nervous but calm as we reached the start point. When it was my turn, I approached the edge of the cliff. I was told that there was a stretch where the wall fell away and I would be hanging in mid-air and they also told me that when I reached this point I would probably swing around to face away from the rocks. When I realised this would happen right near the top I started to panic.Read more
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