"We Can't Wait to Get Books!"
Ariel Simons, 23, is currently serving as an education volunteer for the Peace Corps Lesotho, an ALP partner. She lives in a rural village called Moyeni, and teaches math and science at Moyeni High School.
“The myriad problems facing the people of Lesotho include unemployment, 45% HIV infection rate, poverty, crime, hunger, drug abuse and lack of education. At Moyeni High School, 80% of the students are orphans. Many walk three hours each way to get to school. They are often the heads of their households, and only eat a single meal each day, which is provided by the school."
"As orphans, their school fees are paid for by the government, but if they fail, their scholarship is taken away, and it is nearly impossible for them to attend school again. All exams are in English (their second or third language) yet they lack resources: no computers, radio, magazines, or books,” writes Ariel. Of her classroom, right, she notes, “There’s the one resource I have: chalkboard.”
Ariel helped her community apply to the African Library Project for their first-ever library in August 2010. Now, in Moyeni, the community is waiting for the books with great excitement. Ntate' Neko, the English teacher at MHS, says, “It was very exciting to hear that our application has been accepted. It is also thrilling to hear the positive response from the American people in making this project a success. We are very thankful to you all. March seems to be far; we can't wait to get books!”
Ariel hopes the immensity of Moyeni High School's gratitude comes through to ALP supporters in the USA: “I only wish they could see what a huge impact they’re making.”
Moyeni High School © by Mapaseka Sello, student