Forget Me Not Nola is made up of a group of high school and college students, originally from New Orleans, that want to help children. It is our first year to organize a fundraiser, and this year we've chosen Sentebale as our first charity. Sentebale is an organization that works to help the orphans and vulnerable children of Lesotho and was founded by Price Seeiso of the Lesotho Royal family and Prince Harry of the British Royal Family. Why Sentebale and the children of Lesotho? HIV/AIDS is ravaging Lesotho, creating unthinkable poverty and leaving many children parentless. Currently, 23.2% of adults in Lesotho suffer from HIV/AIDS. As children of Katrina, many of us lost our homes, our belongings and our sense of security. We were left feeling very vulnerable. Yet, we received the kindness and help from many strangers across the country and world. Now, children of New Orleans would like to return the kindness and provide help to vulnerable children, wherever they may be in the world.
Lesotho is an enclave within South Africa and gained its independence from the UK in 1966. Lesotho is ruled by King Letsie III. Prince Seesio is the King's younger brother and is the High Commissioner in London. While the king holds considerable tribal authority, the country is a constitutional monarchy. The Prime Minister, Pakalitha Bentheuel Mosili, is the head of the government and has executive authority. The terrain consists mostly of highlands, plateaus, hills, and mountains. Most of the people live in rural, rugged areas, only accessible on foot or horseback. Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho relies on remittances from diamond miners employed in South Africa and customs duties from the Southern Africa Customs Union for the majority of government revenue. Taxes have been raised to try and diminish dependence on customs duties. However, 45% of the country is currently unemployed, and 49% of the country is below the poverty line. Barely 13% of Lesotho's children are in school, and the school life expectancy for children is only 10 years old.
Sentebale works not only with HIV/AIDS, but also with Integrated Community Development, Special Needs, and Vocation Training. These endeavors help to work with and for local communities to provide effective and efficient care for their orphans and other vulnerable children. Sentebale's efforts also provide care for Lesotho's most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and help give children skills and training to make the most of their futures. Forget Me Not Nola would like to provide help and support to Sentebale in their efforts to make a difference in the lives of the children of Lesotho.