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The School in

The Village of Lesotho

A place of education; vocational, academic and social.

LESALA SHEPHERD SCHOOL 

START TIME: When You See The Lights Come On

It is nighttime in the mountains of Lesotho. The stars are overwhelming, millions, hanging in clusters. They feel close enough to touch. Across an open field is a small building with lights burning. You walk towards it. Inside, are rows of desks. Herd Boys descend from the neighbouring hillsides to receive the only education they have access to. Some of these Herd Boys are children while others seem more to be men. They are members of The Village, just like you. 

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The Herd Boys pull out books and pencils from under the desks and begin working. Soon, the sound of Herd Boys sounding out words and working out maths problems fills the air. You sit down with one boy and offer to help. He's grateful and accepts. 

He asks about your home and wonders especially if you have any cows? 

The Lesala Shepherd School operates at night, after the Herd Boys have finished their day's work tending to animals. The environment is harsh. In the winter, temperatures drop below freezing and in the summer lightning strikes are common. Many of the boys dream of other futures beyond shepherding. 

"While I am with the animals, I imagine someone coming, and giving me job and a dry house to live in. I know that is unlikely." 

You wish you could do something to help the boy next to you. So, you buy him a book.

BUY A BOOK

At the end of the evening, the Herd Boys stand and sing. Their voices are deep and primal. You can feel the reverberation of the sound coming off the floor and through your feet. It's unlike anything you've heard before.

The boys continue to sing as they go, dispersing into the night. You can still hear their voices long after they've gone. You sit for a moment and listen.

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THE SKILLS COLLEGE

START TIME: After Bathing

It is early morning. You can smell burning wood from cooking fires in the nearby villages. You can still hear the Herd Boys singing from the night before playing in your head. A group of some of the same Herd Boys are hammering and sawing wood in the shade of a tree. You inspect their work. They smile at you with pride. 

"Table," one boy says to you. 

He is carefully measuring out the dimensions. An older man, a teacher you assume,  points out a mistake in his maths. The boy laughs and shakes his head at himself and starts over. He gets it right the second time and begins sawing wood. He asks you to help him by holding the plank still. 

"My dream is to build my own house. It will have two rooms and be made from bricks. No one else will live there. Just me. I am learning to make furniture so I can sell it and feed myself. I will have independence." 

For the Herd Boys here at the Skills College, learning these vocations could mean the difference between a life in poverty working as shepherds and a life with more sustainability. 

When the Herd Boy is finished with the table he will sell it in The Market (coming soon).

Would you like to buy a Herd Boy some materials?

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FACTS

LESALA SHEPHERD SCHOOL

  • Began in July 2018

  • 175 School nights for Herd Boys in 2019 

  • 7,500 evening meals served in 2019

  • 27 Herd Boys taught remotely in 2019

  • 360 Health packs for the Herd Boys in 2019

  • 90 pairs of boots provided in 2019 for Herd Boys

  • 41 registered Herd Boys in January 2019

  • 60 registered Herd Boys in December 2019

  • 2 High School Scholarships in 2020

SKILLS COLLEGE

  • Began in March 2020

  • 130 Skills Classes in 2020

  • 18 Tables built and sold in 2020

  • 11 Herd Boys selected

  • 0 Absences 

Continue your journey!

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The Village (Village of Forgiveness) Registered Charity No. 1186107 (England & Wales)

Stody Hall Barns, Stody, Norfolk, NR24 2ED

Site and illustrations by Lydia Tissier

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