fredag 15. april 2011

Lesotho - can we make a difference?

Moliehi Sekese is not an ordinary woman; she is more of a hero. Moliehi is a teacher from Lesotho, the poorest country in the world. She has spoken in front of big assemblies and she has even met Gordon Brown, the previous prime minister in the UK. She is a symbol and a role model for many other teachers and also students, and shows us in the western society that money is not everything, but courage and the ability to not give up is the key to success.

These days she is visiting our school, Sandvika in Norway. She is here to speak about her project and what got her so far. Moliehi’s and her project’s main focus lies in preserving Lesotho’s indigenous plants and making the inhabitants in Lesotho aware of the situation. Further she wants to make a botanical garden where these plants can grow without any interference from people. She also wants to enlighten the fact that if these plants are used without any limitations, they will disappear.

Moliehi was sent from Africa and Lesotho as their representative in the Microsoft Innovative teachers’ event. Other African teachers believed in her cause and wanted her to represent Africa. In 2009 she was sent to Brazil to present her cause at the international Microsoft Innovative teachers’ event. There were gathered many teachers from all over the world in Brazil that week in 2009, and among those where my English teacher and Moliehi. Later that week Moliehi won the most prestigious price at the Microsoft event; she won the teachers’ choice. From all the ideas that were represented her idea was according to the other teachers the best idea.

With that price came many opportunities for Moliehi, and she has traveled a lot in the time after the event to present and speak about Lesotho, her school and the innovative project. I find her spirit and her mind-set very inspiring. In the end of the presentation she held for our class she reminded us how lucky we are that grow up with all the opportunities to get an education, and how there is no excuse to not get one. In Lesotho many of the children are orphans due to the high HIV and AIDS rates. Basic needs as food and clothing is not a matter of course for the children in Lesotho, and with that in mind it is even more remarkable that she has accomplished all she has with very few resources.

I found her courage and set of mind very inspiring, and on a bad day when I might don’t feel like doing school work, I will remember Moliehi and her words, and how I am privileged to live where I live, and having these opportunities that we often take for granted.

The video on top of my blog post is a Animoto I made myself, and the picture in this post is a picture of Moliehi and my teacher, Ann visiting a school in South-Africa.