The final 60 vulnerable returnees and youth graduated from Technical Institute of Leloaleng

Quthing, May 5 2021: IOM has been implementing the regional projects funded by UK-Aid titled ‘’Humanitarian response to vulnerable and stranded migrants in Southern Africa region’’ as part of the COVID-19 response. The countries which are implementing are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho. IOM Lesotho has been working closely with Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), DISCOSEC (District COVID-19 Secretariat) and District Disaster Management Team (DDMT) to identify vulnerable returnees and their family members, as well as other extreme vulnerable youth in Mohales Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts and provide skills training to restore their livelihood.

Among the 180 beneficiaries who received skills training by the project, 60 of them have already graduated from College of Cooperative Entrepreneurship and Business Studies (CCBES) in February and March 2021 and started their own business in their respective districts. On May 1, additional 60 have gradated from St. Mary Mazzarello Vocational Training Centre (VTC). On May 5 2021, the final 60 beneficiaries have graduated from Technical Institute of Leloaleng. 17 beneficiaries learned automotive (14 male, 3 female), 15 beneficiaries learned carpentry (7 male, 8 female), 12 beneficiaries learned electric installation (9 male, 3 female) and 16 beneficiaries learned leather work (10 male, 6 female).

Speaking on behalf of the entire beneficiaries, Mr. Tholang Mahlekele, Student representative, thanked IOM and Technical Institute of Leloaleng for the skills training opportunity, and patience, understanding and support by the teachers of Leloaleng. He confirmed that the experience they have received was not only education, but also the life experience where each person has to respect one another to have a harmony at the school. He appealed; ‘’Please consider supporting us with the tool kits so that we can start utilizing the skills once we are back to our district’’.

In her remarks, Head of Office IOM Lesotho, Ms. Eriko Nishimura acknowledged the students’ commitment and tireless efforts to gain new skills, as well as teamwork as they lived together for few months. She asked the student, ‘’Please reflect where you were in prior to the skills training. I am aware that many of you have gone through the very difficult life. You were the vulnerable youth at that time, but now, you are confident and empowered youth with skill.’’ She also reminded the students saying; ‘’The school fee was not free. The accommodation and meals you were provided, the uniform and transport was not free of charge. Somebody has paid for you, and we need to appreciate our donor – UK Aid and Japanese Government’’. 

In his remarks, The Director of Technical Institute of Leloaleng, Mr. Rutang Santi congratulated all the students to have successfully completed their skills training. He stated: “When you go back, you have to become a model in the community. Not only the skills, but the behaviour that you were taught as important at Leloaleng Institute, please continue to apply a good behaviour.’’ The Director also mentioned how the technical institute can support when they need additional documentation and if they are interested in the future study to master certain skills.

The skills training was funded by a generous support from UK Aid and the Government of Japan. For further information, please contact IOM Lesotho (