Not so cool

I was told by a neighbor, over Skype, that I am on the ballot and will probably make it onto the town democratic committee. I now vaguely remember, during a cold wintry evening visit by one of the organizers in town, that I was gently encouraged to participate in the grassroots democratic process. I said yes, not knowing exactly what I was getting into. We will see.

This same neighbor, who makes a virtue out of knowing trivia, told me that the lowest point in Lesotho is the highest lowest point in the world. Fancy that!

Some other facts about Lesotho are not so cool: In Lesotho, the HIV prevalence rate of 23% is the third highest in the world, with a much higher percentage among women (27%) than men (18%). The HIV prevalence among 25-29 year olds is 35% for females and 18% among males (Lesotho Democratic Health Survey 2009). An unpleasant side effect of this is that the number of orphans (0-17) has gone up from 130,245 in 1996 to nearly a quarter of a million reflecting a 41% rise over a ten-year period according to the last population census, which happened 6 years ago. Children are made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS long before their parents die. Although there are no data available on the number of other vulnerable children, it is most likely that it exceeds the number of those who are orphaned.

And so this is reason why we are here, as an organization, with a project that has as its aim to help the government of Lesotho make sure that these children are taken care of, get the medical and psycho-social services they need, school fees paid and what not. This is the only way that they will have a shot at growing up to be productive citizen and take over the task from their elders to get people to change their behavior and reduce rampant poverty and all its deleterious side effects.

1 Response to “Not so cool”

  1. 1 axel March 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Democracy in action! When Elizabeth Warren really gets going with her Senate campaign you’ll be happy to play a part.

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