The Transformation Resource Centre in partnership with the South African High Commission- Lesotho commemorated the Maseru Massacre and TRC’s 40th Anniversary through a public lecture at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre on the 9th December 2019. The public lecture was a reflection on maseru massacre and the history of TRC as well as the linkages of the two. More importantly, the reflection was specific to the relationship of the two countries ( South Africa and Lesotho) on how it can be strengthened in a way that promotes people to people diplomacy. The lecture presentations were made by Prof. Mahao who was the National University of Lesotho- SRC president at the time and present during the burial ceremony, Mr Morule – South African refugee to Lesotho who was also present during the events and Prof. Mothibe from the National University of Lesotho who provided the historian background.
TRC supported by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives held an award giving ceremony for youth who participated in article feature writing jointly with the celebration of human rights day on the 10 December 2019 at Manthabiseng Convention Centre. The winners were announced and offered cash prices according to the standard which each article achieved as well as certificates. Ministry of Law, Constitutional affairs and Human Rights Principal Secretary- Col. Tanki Mothae was present to hand over the awards to the youth. Furthermore, a presentation by Adv. Marealeboha Makau was made with focus on youth participation in governance and in celebration of International Human rights day. The 2019 Human Rights Day Theme was; “Youth Standing for Human Rights”. The lecture enabled a platform for youth to contribute meaningfully in governance affairs and strategize how they can make a significant impact.
TRC ARTICLE WRTING COMPETITION
The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) supported by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) with the aim to promote youth involvement on issues of governance invites all interested Basotho youth to participate in an article writing competition. The article will be featured in litaba tsa lesotho newsletter (TRC Sesotho newsletter) and should focus on youth concerns regarding their participation in politics/ good governance and or human rights.
The Centre acknowledges that young people are active social actors with their own views, ideas, thinking techniques and skills of using information. However, their identity, social standing, lack of uniform youth orientation to politics and few opportunities available often alienates them from adequate participation and engagement in decision making. There is uncertainty regarding young people’s presence in the public affairs. This involves the increase of their civic involvement, the fight against reclusive conduct, their preparation for future leadership as active citizens, as well as their empowerment. It is therefore necessary to engage Basotho youth in opinion sharing on governance related issues to express their views and how they perceive certain issues from a youthful perspective.
How to submit:
Please send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, the article submission should be in a word document attached in an email, the word document should include: the article title, the name of the author, the social media handles of the author, and of course the written article. Please use Times New Roman font, size 12, and 1.5 spacing. The email subject must be in the following presentation; (Article Writing Competition and Author’s Name).
All entries must be submitted by November 22nd, 2019 13:00 p.m. Articles submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
Terms and Conditions:
- Articles should clearly state the names of the author, his/her contact details and a certified copy of his/her identification.
- By submitting an entry, the rights to your article will be transferred to Transformation Resource Centre (TRC).
- Winners will be contacted via email and telephonically prior to their articles being published.
- TRC has the right to edit the entries to suit its quarterly Sesotho newspaper content titled Litaba tsa Lesotho. Winners will not be notified about the editorial work done on their articles which might slightly change their work.
- Interested candidates must be citizens of Lesotho and must be between the ages of 18-35 years (Youth).
- All articles must be written in Sesotho and must not be more than three (3) pages long.
- The article must be well articulated paying close attention to statistics, prevalence, facts, focus and attention where necessary
- The article should be original work of the author and not a plagiarised
Participation of article Writing Competition Rewards:
Top 5 articles will be awarded cash prizes and the article will feature in the Centre’s Litaba tsa Lesotho newspaper. The prizes are as follows;
1st Price- 2800
2nd Price- 2000
3rd Price -1700
4th Price- 1500
5th Price- 1000
The Transformation Resource Centre supported by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary facilitated a dialogue session in Mokhotlong for Polihali Dam affected communities, the LHDA officials, Natural Resource Cluster and Government. The session interrogated the ceaseless concerns of the affected communities regarding compensation, resettlement, pastures, employment opportunities, and with great focus on water and sanitation rights among others. The Centre organised the session with the aim that the fears and concerns of affected communities are responded to by LHDA and other relevant stakeholders and newly collected concerns are documented and given specific timeframes for redress. The Centre also made great effort for the Ministry of Water affairs, Natural Resource Cluster, Mokhotlong MPs and LHDA commit to affected communities in the Polihali catchment in enabling access to clean water and sanitation.
TRC capacitates CSOs and HRDs on how to engage with African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteurs
Transformation Resource Centre organised a capacity building workshop for HRDs and CSOs to learn on how best they can engage with the African Commission mechanism to ensure promotion and protection of human rights in Lesotho, the activity took place at Maseru Avani on the 26th September 2019. The Centre saw the need for HRDs and CSOs to know which mechanisms they can exhaust when faced with rampant human rights violations and closing civic space especially with the consideration of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as one such mechanism which can be useful through its working committees and special rapporteurs to address problems faced by HRDs and CSOs at national level. The activity aimed at ensuring that HRDs and CSOs in Lesotho effectively engage with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with a view of promoting and protecting human rights in Lesotho. It also capacitated the HRDs and CSOs in applying for an Observer Status with the African Commission in order to advance the promotion and protection of human rights within communities.
TRC facilitated youth sessions in Maseru, Mafeteng and Mokhotlong from the 27th to the 30th August 2019 and will further hold a similar session in Botha-Bothe. Youth were capacitated on their right to participate and obligation to demand and hold local authorities accountable on issues of concern to them in order to have a voice in community developments. The Centre had learned that youth participation and civic engagement is extremely low and may lead to increasing youth marginalization and exclusion from the benefits that accrue from politics and civic engagement. Young people were made aware of the policies and laws that enable and promote their participation in community developments. TRC encouraged young people to take part in demanding their rights and questioning developments implemented around them.
The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) through the GEF project supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over merino rams to the communities of Malubalube and Popa-Kanana on the 30th August 2019 in Mokhotlong district. The purpose of the project is to promote rearing of quality flock and production of wool and mohair for commercial consumption. The project also initiates zero grazing by stimulating large-scale fodder supply for local farmers in communities through skills gained in fodder production, quality breeding and availed opportunities for starting agroindustry on large scale. TRC in preparatory to the ram donation had empowered communities and strengthened local initiatives in range management, land reclamation for fodder production in order to address range damage and soil erosion. The communities built gabions, planted fruit trees, protected and regulated rangelands and produced fodder. The project responds to challenges of scarce land which animals compete over and has therefore resulted in overgrazing. The communities within Polihali catchement also face problems whereby some of their land will be inundated by water.
The Transformation Resource Centre held a human rights session with Zimbabwe Military College senior staff and students who have come on a study tour in Lesotho through the Lesotho Defense Force invitation. The Centre held discussions on the history of human rights situation in the country to the present situation. The Zimbabwe Military College were also briefed on the civil-military relations in Lesotho which the Centre reckon has quite improved in the current army administration.
Transformation Resource Centre in its advocacy for Good Governance and Human Rights has been closely observing and monitoring the proceedings of the National Assembly of Lesotho’s Public Accounts Committee which resulted from the Auditor General’s report compiled for three consecutive financial years of 2013/14;2014/15;2015/16. As part of Civil Society mandate to strengthen and support all democracy and good governance institutions in the country, while also promoting Public Participation in issues of good governance, TRC held a public forum in the form of a Friends Meeting to discuss the PAC report at in-depth. The panellists were the PAC chairperson Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane, former Accountant General and Independent Auditor at PKF- Mr. Sam Mphaka, Political Scientist-Miss Mamello Rakolobe from the National University of Lesotho, and Mrs Mafani Masoabi who is the Accountant General. The activity attracted Members of Parliament, Government Officials, Civil Society, Academia and Media and aimed to popularise the findings of the report to the public in order to exert pressure on the government to implement the PAC recommendations.
The Transformation Resource Centre held a friends meeting on whether Government of National Unity (GNU) is the solution to the Lesotho’s political instability. The meeting was held on the 14th June 2019 on TRC’s premises. The main Presenters were Mr. Mothejoa Metsing leader of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Tsepang Tsita Mosena deputy leader of Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and Prof. Nqosa Mahao deputy leader of All Basotho Convention (ABC). Each political party representative presented his or her own party position regarding GNU. Amongst the invitees were members of parliament, political parties, civil society, media and the public. The forum is a platform where all stakeholders can engage on topical matters in the country and help direct TRC’s advocacy. The session was also streamed live on Transformation Resource Centre facebook page.