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Activities lined up to empower women


Mohalenyane Phakela

Miss Humanity Lesotho organisers have lined up various activities including workshops and community projects as part of efforts to empower young women, beginning with the World Humanitarian Day commemoration on Saturday.

The initiative is a brainchild of Mamarabe Sello, Limpho Phokojoe and Hlabele Lepholisa. Sello is a model who studied Business Entrepreneurship and also underwent an intensive Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) training in Business and Entrepreneurship development at UNISA graduate school of Business Leadership.

Phokojoe holds a National Diploma in Human Resources Management. She has also underwent the YALI leadership training in Civic leadership while Lepholisa is a nurse with a passion to bring about positive change in Lesotho.

The three women seek to tackle societal issues through women-led initiatives, promote welfare of girls and young women, independence and self-esteem and to raise awareness and funds for philanthropic endeavours.

Sello recently told Xpress People that women were subjected to various forms of abuse and therefore they aimed to initiate and implement programmes to accelerate the socio-economic development of girls and young women.

“Girls and young women still face many challenges related to gender and often have to reconcile their own dreams with societal expectations of what they should be,” Sello said.

“Even though new media technologies offer greater opportunities for networking, they also pose interpersonal challenges for girls and young women such as sexual harassment and many other forms of abuse that can cause low self-esteem, peer pressure, depression and suicide.

“Our aim is to mentor these women to develop the confidence they need and to empower them with knowledge, skills, abilities and experience in order to affect positive change in their communities. Self-confidence and self-reliance are key.

“Every woman should be independent and confident to stand up in any situation therefore Miss Humanity Lesotho is committed to building the biggest platform to affect change in Lesotho through women-led initiatives which will tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society today.”

She said they were collecting foodstuffs from people of goodwill that would be given to orphanages and child-headed households on the 19 August (World Humanitarian Day), 5 September (International Day of Charity) and 11 October (International Girl Child Day.

Sello also revealed that they were in the process of recruiting ambassadors in the country’s 10 districts to work on various charity initiatives as well as competing in the Miss Humanity pageant in November this year.

“Pageants are perfect platforms to celebrate the essence of beauty of a woman while also advocating for humanitarian work. The Miss Humanity Lesotho beauty pageant is targeting young women from the age of 18 to 27.

As leaders and role models within their communities, the contestants will work to affect positive change through community work, volunteerism, fundraising activities and advocacy. During her reign, the winner will become an ambassador for humanitarian work and will be provided with tools to enrich others by dedicating her time to raising awareness and much needed funds for philanthropic endeavours.”

She said the 20 contestants (two from each district) would attend a week long leadership boot camp which will cover the following topics: Authentic and Responsible Leadership; Personal Development; Social Issues; Raising Awareness and Advocacy; Fundraising and Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship.

“The contestants will then form groups where they will be given a challenge to come up with an innovative project that will create a solution to one of the most pressing social ills facing Lesotho today.

“This will be the time for all contestants to exercise leadership and to implement what they were taught at the boot camp.

“Each group will be judged on how best they applied skills and knowledge they were taught,” she said.


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