Qholaqhoe High School Scholarship Program

While primary education in Lesotho is free, high school tuition and related costs are a challenge for most families on Qholaqhoe Mountain. Many cannot afford the yearly expense and often find themselves dependent upon their children for much of the necessary daily work required to survive.

However, education is highly valued and respected. An education is considered a luxury that families struggle to provide for their children. The promise of an education offers the promise of a way out of a life of subsistence farming and herding.

The Qholaqhoe Mountain area consists of many small, far flung villages. Many of the students walk miles, and hours, to school each day. A few students stay for the school week in small stone buildings near the school. School is released early on Fridays so they can make the long trek home for the weekend to help with family chores.

The purpose of our Qholaqhoe High School program is to provide scholarship assistance to hard working students who have no financial support, so that they can attend school and graduate with a high school diploma.

Sponsors pay $250 per year, which covers tuition and testing fees. We currently have 63 scholarship students, in Forms A (8th grade) through Form E.  Sponsors and students get to know each other through the sharing of letters and photographs four times a school year. Many sponsors stay with their student throughout the entire high school experience.

There is an expectation that the students work hard at all of their courses and do well on their exams. If a child does not attend school regularly, and the teachers feel that she/he is not doing their best work, they are placed on probation. If their performance does not improve, they may be removed from the scholarship program. A new student is then chosen for the sponsor.

An important piece of a sponsorship is that the students realize that someone, thousands of miles across the ocean, is encouraging them to receive an education. This caring and support provides the type of hope these students, and their families, desperately need.

The scholarships have provided relief to parents who struggle to give their children the opportunity of an education, and they are justifiably very proud to have had their children selected for the program. Parents or guardians attend school meetings and are encouraged to allow their child extra time for studying and coming to school on Saturdays for extra help.

Life is not easy at the high school and the impact of COVID has been significant. Students often struggle with their studies, impacted by school closures, teacher strikes, difficulties at home, drought and the lack of adequate nutrition. However, the ability to stay in school, to know that they have the support of their sponsors and to have the chance to graduate has proven to be a significant motivation.



Our High School

Qholaqhoe High School has a student population of about 370 students in grades 8-12 (Forms A-E). The school year begins in mid-January and ends in November. Summer vacation is held during November and December.


Updates from our High School Students

 August 2021
"Dear Sponsor
Things are all good except this pandemic of COVID 19. It is the beginning of spring, so the winds here already started and the dust have begun too. The grass has worn out and the animals are nutritionally weak because they nothing to eat in the environment. The farmers collected the silage to feed their animals through this tough times. Temperatures are starting to get warmer to show that the winter has come to an end.

The cases of Corona virus are increasing now and I think the reason is that the coldness is still available and the air is powerful to spread the virus. As I am living at the rural part of Butha-Butha district, some of the people do not believe that the COVID 19 is real so they do not follow the rules and regulations against this pandemic. They do not wear mask, sanitize or keep physical distance, or washing hands with the running water together with the soap.

My work at the moment is to wake up early in the morning to read while I am still preparing for going to school After school I do assignments and clean the house and cook the food of dinner and breakfast. Over the weekend I watch football or music over the internet as it is my favourite. I research for the terms that I do  not understand at school to improve  my vocabulary and performance at school”     – Rethabile
 
August 2021
"To my sponsor,
Hi! How are you? It gives me a great pleasure to write this letter to you.  I am writing this letter to tell you that I am pleased to have you as my sponsor. How are you doing in this pandemic? I am well and hope that as well you are well, by grace of God.

I will like to inform you that I am still studying hard to my school work after all and I have pulled up my socks and I will always do to assure you that you not be disappointed by me again.”  – Karabo

 
 October 2021
"Dear Sponsor,
My family and I are still fine, none of us affected by COVID 19, with grace we saved.

The major reason for me to come to school is to rewrite physical science and mathematics. I chose to supplement those subjects because I want to pursue veterinary surgery so they require scientific subjects.

Last two weeks, we have been writing our mock exams and I performed so well but mathematics still a problem. I promise you, my sponsor, that with this period of time, I will practice maths. Proudly, this month on the 25th we will be starting jotting final examinations. I am still working hard so that I pass.”  – Puseletso
 
August 2021

"Dear Sponsor,
 How are you doing this coldest winter? I hope that you are still doing well with your family.

We are preparing ourselves for writing the final examination. It may be very hard for us as we did not finish with Form D syllabus but we are trying by all means to pass. Our teachers help us by giving us books to read on weekends.

How is COVID 19 is your country? Here in Lesotho, many people die through this virus. Qholaqhoe High School students are going to receive the vaccine on the 18 August 2021. This virus caused poverty in many countries, but let us hope God will help us one day.”   – Matooa
  

Qholaqhoe Mountain Connections

P.O. Box 405
,
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472

518.732.4279



info@qmconnect.org

Qholaqhoe Mountain Connections is a 501(c)3 organization.


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