Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country with the unique characteristic of being totally surrounded by its neighbor, the Republic of South Africa.
The country formerly known as Basutoland was renamed to the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. In 1993 after 23 years of military rule, a new constitution was implemented leaving the King without any executive authority and proscribing him from engaging in political affairs.
In 1998, violent protests and a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody South African military intervention. Constitutional reforms have since restored political stability; peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002. However Lesotho is one of three remaining monarchies in Africa.
Why this focus on drownings in Lesotho:
The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasises that drowning is one of the most overlooked, preventable causes of death across the world.8 For every country in the world, drowning is among the top 10 killers for children.
According to the latest WHO data published in 2017 Drownings Deaths in Lesotho reached 97 or 0.38% of total deaths. The age adjusted Death Rate is 4.44 per 100,000 of population ranks Lesotho #81 in the world.
Where do people drown:
The vast majority of drownings occur in open water, the sea, lakes, ponds, rivers. However, drownings occur in all water including swimming pools and bathtubs. Small children have been known to drown in just a few inches of water ” in buckets and ditches for example.
Focus on and in Lesotho
Focus is on teaching young people in Lesotho with disabilities as deaf and hard of hearing, visual disabled and blind and maybe other groups to safe themselves when they fall in water.
Youth with disabilities in Lesotho
People with disabilities in Lesotho are among the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups in the country. They are often forced to be dependent on relatives or other care-takers. According to the Lesotho Demographic Survey (2001), 4.2% of the population has some form of disability and about one-third of these are children under 15 years. However, due to unreliable data these statistics do not objectively present the situation, magnitude and prevalence of disability in Lesotho.
Planning and program in Lesotho in 2020 – postponed because of Covid-19
Our idea was to fly on November 24 2020 to Joburg and arrive in Maseru on November 25. We will hire a car, we have therefore transport in Lesotho;
On November 26 we can have a meeting mr. Colin MacDonald, president of Royal Lesotho Lifesaving Association and others in Maseru
On November 27 we can have meetings in Maseru and drive to Leribe during daylight;
Our idea is to start the first swim training in Leribe on Saturday 28. The number of days depend on the number the children available. Our idea is on Saturday the deaf and Sunday 29 the blind. See the schools in Leribe / Butha-Buthe.
When the numbers of children is higher we can stay longer in Leribe / Butha-Buthe
We only can work with small groups of probably 6 to 8 children per group. When we are with 4 trainers (Xiomara and Dakota for the girls and Tariq and Rob for the boys) we can work with 12 to 16 children per day. The groups can't be too big because of the safety of the children. And the individual lessons are very important because we won’t reach a certain goal at the end of the day with these children. Of course we can talk about the exact numbers later;
Of course we will take the food as a part of our program;
From Leribe/the north of Lesotho we will go to Maseru. See the schools in Maseru.
We can do trainings including Sunday 5 December.
Where we go depends the availability of children and of course if we can use a swimming pool. We can imagine the hotel guests also want to make to use of the swimming pool. Because we work with small groups this should be possible.