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Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho

2511 Massachusetts
Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC, 20008

Tel.: 1-202-797-5533
Fax 1-202-234-6815

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Lesotho-Washington, November 25, 2005
: On the eve of Dr. Peg Herbert’s departure to Lesotho to oversee implementation of the Youth Against HIV/AIDS project on Building Governance Capacity and Community Engagement, Her Excellency Ambassador Molelekeng E. Rapolaki, who is also Lesotho’s High Commissioner to Canada met in Ottawa, Canada on Monday, November 21, 2005.

Dr. Herbert is the Youth Against HIV/AIDS (YAH) Canadian Project Coordinator and also the Executive Director of Help Lesotho project, a Canadian educational initiative partnering public, private and volunteer resources to address the effects of poverty and HIV/AIDS in Lesotho.

The Youth Against HIV/AIDS is a two and a half (2 ˝) year project, fully funded, to the tune of $ 554,326 (Canadian Dollar) by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
[1]The Institute On Governance will administer the project.

During her discussion with H.E. Ambassador Rapolaki, Dr. Herbert said, “So many Canadians are now learning of the good hearts and generous souls of the Basotho, and of their painful challenges. By putting aside our individual differences and personal inspiration, we can generate new ways of fighting HIV/AIDS and bringing all the partners to the table. Help Lesotho and Youth Against HIV/AIDS are working together with schools, civil society organizations and various levels of government to build trust and effectiveness to support Basotho initiatives. It is our privilege to make new friends and be a part of this struggle… it will take us all hand-in-hand to make the degree of difference required. We are here to help Lesotho”.

In response, Her Excellency Ambassador Rapolaki commended and applauded the Canadian Government and Civil society, particularly Dr. Herbert for joining hands in support of the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho. She also commended the Institute on Governance for their support particularly on Building Governance Capacity and Community Engagement, noting that the initiative would not have come at the right time as the country held its first Local Government election earlier this year.

The Ambassador further assured Dr. Herbert of a highly motivated Basotho Youth and communities, who are prepared to partner with whoever is interested in their wellbeing. She expressed hope that the project will be an effective strategy to empower the youths and enhance their current engagement in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and most importantly equip them with requisite governance skills for their full participation in the overall long –term development of Lesotho.

YAH Canadian Project Coordinator is expected to meet Mr. Keketso Sefeane, Chief Executive Officer of National AIDS Commission, and pay courtesy-call on the Honourable Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Gender and Home Affairs. Further, the National AIDS Commission, in collaboration with YAH plans to host the First Steering Committee meeting on December 15, 2005, wherein members of the Committee will be elected. This will consist of senior representatives from the Ministries of Gender Youth and Sports, Home Affairs and Public Safety, and Education and Training, Health and Social Welfare, Youths, NGOs and Civil Society.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho

Washington, DC

November 25, 2005

[1] Canadian based non-profit organization which explores, shares, and promotes the concept of good governance in Canada and abroad, and helps governments, the voluntary sector, communities and the private sector put it into practice for the well-being of citizens and society.


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