Volunteering in Lesotho
A small land-locked kingdom, completely surrounded by South Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho lies entirely above 1,400 metres in elevation.
The country faces widespread poverty and many serious development challenges — but Lesotho (pronounced “le-soo-too”) is a beautiful mountainous country with sweeping views, dramatic waterfalls, and a rich cultural history. It even boasts one of Africa’s two ski resorts!
According to the UNDP, more than half of the population live in extreme poverty, with income below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day. Economic growth has slowed in recent years due to drought and weak regional demand.
Lesotho has the world’s second-highest infection rate of HIV and AIDS, with a prevalence rate of about one-in-four. This crisis is exacerbated by lack of qualified healthcare professionals, coupled with the country’s difficult mountainous terrain.
The Australian Volunteers Program closely aligns with the DFAT Aid Investment Plan for Lesotho while retaining the flexibility to respond to emerging priorities. Volunteer assignments strengthen relationships with stakeholders and institutions that are important to achieving the objectives of the Australian Government with priority given to volunteer assignments that address:
- gender equality and women’s empowerment
- violence against women and girls
- education (including science)
- good governance
- working with people with disabilities
- human rights (including for LGBTQI+)
- environmental management
- strengthening institutions that promote stability, democracy and the rule of law