Africa and the Middle East Featured Program: Lesotho
Lesotho is a mountainous country with a population of about 2 million. It has the unique characteristic of being completely surrounded by its neighbor, the Republic of South Africa. Given its mountainous terrain, Lesotho is the only independent nation in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 meters in elevation. Its lowest point of 1,400 meters is thus the highest in the world.
Sesotho and English
Poverty housing in Lesotho is prevalent. Acquiring land is a complex, expensive and time-consuming process. Furthermore, the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic has made people more vulnerable than ever before. The need for decent housing is particularly crucial for orphans, vulnerable children and widows, who are defenseless against forced eviction and abuse after the death of a parent or spouse. Therefore, Habitat Lesotho focuses on providing shelter to these vulnerable groups.
Habitat Lesotho, founded in 2001, primarily builds homes for families that include orphans and vulnerable children. Habitat Lesotho also participates in disaster-management interventions to provide safe shelter to those left homeless after natural disasters. All homeowners participate in the construction process to ensure a sense of ownership and strengthen their capacity to maintain their homes for long-term sustainability.
The homes range from two- to three-rooms or single-room structures built within the family compound. All families are also provided with a sanitary pit latrine, if needed.
Types of construction for volunteers
Global Village team members build houses with homeowners, prospective homeowners, committee members or community members. Work may include mixing mortar, putting up windowpanes and doorframes, pouring cement floor slab, moving bricks, passing mortar, plastering interior walls and possibly roofing.
Leribe and Berea
The team will stay at a modest lodge or guesthouse. Participants will share double-occupancy rooms (twin beds). There will be shower facilities and a toilet per room.
Day 1 (typically Friday): Depart for Lesotho.
Day 2 (Saturday): Travel day. Arrive in Johannesburg for overnight stay.
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrival day. Arrive mid-afternoon; pick-up from the hotel by a hired transport company (two shuttles will be at the airport awaiting group’s arrival); transfer to guesthouse in worksite area; lunch; orientation at guesthouse by GV Coordinator; dinner at the guesthouse.
Days 4–7 (Monday–Thursday): Breakfast at guesthouse; travel to work site to build at 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; lunch on-site everyday; dinner at the guesthouse every evening.
Day 8 (Friday): Breakfast at guesthouse; work on-site 8:30a.m. - noon; lunch on-site at 12:30 p.m.; house dedication; depart from site by 5 p.m.; dinner at lodge.
Day 9 (Saturday): Departure day. Breakfast at lodge; depart for home; free time for local hike or craft shopping; lunch at lodge; shuttle to the airport (two shuttles) mid-afternoon for departure.
Starting at US$1,840
View the standard budget
Volunteer Engagement specialist