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Australian High Commissioner experiences a Kick4Life in Lesotho

23 April 2013
Australian High Commissioner experiences a Kick4Life in Lesotho

On 10 April 2013, the Australian High Commissioner to South Africa with non-residential accreditation to Lesotho, HE Mr Graeme Wilson visited Kick4Life in Lesotho. AVI work in partnership with Kick4Life as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, an Australian Government, AusAID initiative.

On a two-day tour to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho before presenting his credentials to His Majesty King Letsie III, Mr Wilson met with local partner organisations and AVID volunteers. He was accompanied by his wife and the First Secretary.

In September 2012, Kick4Life, with the support of the AVID program, was awarded $10,000 in funding through AVI's Community Grant Scheme for a training initiative. Funded through the support of the Planet Wheeler Foundation, Kick4Life is using the funding to establish a restaurant and Orphans and Vulnerable Children catering training school.

The facility is aimed at servicing the community not only through acting as a venue restaurant, but also through an on and off site catering service that works in partnership with other workshop and facilities rental services available at Kick4Life.

The catering training school is targeted at underprivileged Basotho youth participants to equip them with hard transferrable skills in order to increase their employability in the community upon graduation of the training program.  The facility is also aimed at providing an educational service teaching local youth healthy and nutritious eating habits, with much of the ingredients used in the kitchen to be sourced from the on-site vegetable garden.

Kick4Life Director, Curtis Gardner and AVID volunteer, Edwin Yau were delighted to welcome HE Mr Graeme Wilson, his wife and the First Secretary at the office and discuss new training activities.

“We had a fruitful discussion about Kick4Life history and present activities, the Australian High Commission’s activities in Southern Africa and how we could benefit from Australian funded programs. It was great to receive the CGS funding from AVI, but also humbling to have the High Commissioner himself visit us," Mr Gardner said.

After the visit to Kick4Life, volunteers in Lesotho were invited to have dinner with the Australian High Commissioner. He spent time understanding their roles in Lesotho. He presented a cake to one of the volunteers, Belinda Johnson who was celebrating her birthday on the day.

AVI has worked with partner organisations in Lesotho since 1975. Currently, AVI supports 15 AVID volunteers working with a range of local partner organisations in Lesotho. The assignments include support of local NGOs and Lesotho government in food security and agriculture, good governance, climate change, and disability.

Written by Justice Kalebe, AVI Program Officer (South Africa and Lesotho)

Australian High Commissioner to South Africa HE Mr Graeme Wilson (left) with Kick4Life staff, AVID volunteer and AVI staff

AusAID is working in partnership with Australian Volunteers International to deliver the AVID program, an Australian Government, AusAID initiative.