Magazine article New Internationalist

Training for Grannies

Magazine article New Internationalist

Training for Grannies

Article excerpt

LESOTHO

When Malong Pitse's daughter died of AIDS, the 71-year-old widow became the sole provider for her grandchildren.

Pitse is not alone; at least 300,000 A IDS orphans in Lesotho are living with their grandmothers, who struggle to cope with the financial challenge of raising them. Of all the countries with more than one per cent of the population living with AIDS, Lesotho has the largest percentage of children orphaned by the disease.

'Grandmothers play the role of nurses, counsellors, teachers and providers,' says Maxwell Mphwina, project officer for Skillshare International. 'This leaves many of them feeling depressed as well as abandoned.'

But since 2014, the charity has allowed the grandmothers of Lesotho to become providers once again, through a community savings-andloan scheme in rural Butha Buthe and Leribe districts affectionately known by locals as 'grandmother training'. …

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