ALLIANCE Française (AF) recently launched a book to commemorate the organisation’s 35th anniversary in Lesotho.
AF is a non-profit organisation which seeks to promote the French language and culture through language lessons as well as monthly events revolving around art, music and food.
“We are truly a gateway to the French language and culture, and we create a space for interactions between the French and Basotho people as well as other communities,” said Remi Beghin, the AF director.
Speaking at the launch, former AF president, Heinz Fiebig, said the idea of the book was born in 2015 when Anita Bijman joined the board.
“Writing this kind of a book can take years, but the dedication of Anita and her team made it possible in two years,” Mr Fiebig said.
For her part, Bijman said penning the book was challenging as she had to find contributors in addition to checking the lay-out, re-reading the stories and securing good pictures.
She said the book was a good example of co-operation and expressed the “hope that people will derive the pleasure from reading this book”.
AF president, Natasha Ntlhasinye, described the book as a documentary of Maseru and Lesotho history.
“We, as AF, are proud of this book which is as a reminder and representation of the role we play in this community,” Ntlhasinye said.
“AF is more than just classes of French because it is a resource centre in our community for all things Francophone.
“The AF is deeply rooted in education and learning as it started out in the premises of a library and evolved into so much more.
“It stands as a symbol of cultural exchange and preservation through its physical sandstone structure which has stood the test of time and became a part of Maseru’s architectural heritage,” she said.
She thanked all the contributors, including Evelyne Lebona “for all the support she gave AF to put the book together”.
“The book is dedicated to Vanina DeBaulny who loved Lesotho and added an extra dimension by starting the AF de Maseru and Ms Lebona who put in hours during the book-making process, sourcing names, dates and making invitation cards.
“The book is full of beautiful pictures, interesting stories and an overview the 35 years of AF,” she said.