Msizi Africa supports a Basotho team feed orphans in their community from funds generated by selling milk from a herd of dairy cows. By next year we aim to have totally handed over and phased our financial support out.
How we came to be is less important as the years go by. In 2006, I went to a children’s home in Lesotho to ‘help’. My opinion on unqualified foreign volunteers arriving in countries on the continent has dramatically changed over the years. I’ve done an about turn. Would I now go to ‘Africa’ to ‘help’? No. But as a London based white 26 year old woman with a bit of experience in the charity sector – which with hindsight was nothing more than saviourism – off I went to see what I could do. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds. The children there needed more varied, nutritious food and £2,000 was donated by friends and family within just a few weeks. The good food had an immediate impact but I was not so saviourish that I couldn’t see that we needed to support Basotho already feeding children in their community. We just had to find a way to do it.
Msizi Africa was founded on 6th June 2007 and has raised over £1.4million and provided more than 3 million meals to over 1,000 children. It took a long time to assemble the knowledge and a team with the expertise to take it forward, but we made a big plan in 2020. At the height of the pandemic where everything was more and more uncertain, we had to ensure this project could continue and grow without us. We planned to get a herd of dairy cows, sell milk, make money to buy the food, and leave our colleagues to it.
Mooana, our first cow, arrived in September 2020 and produced milk which reduced the feeding budget by £300 a month as we no longer needed to purchase milk. As of May 2022 we have seven cows – with an eight imminent!
We are not like other charities.
They’re not beneficiaries; they’re our children. We love and care for them as part of the Msizi Africa family which they will always be a part of.
We spend 1% on admin; 99p in every £1 is spent directly on the children by our team in Lesotho.
We legally safeguard funds raised by donors but what happens in Lesotho is decided by Msizi Africa Lesotho, a legally registered entity. We support Basotho solutions to community issues, and for Basotho to hold Board and Senior Leadership positions.
We believe in deinstitutionalised care and support the safe and appropriate reunification of children into family based care.
We firmly believe we should be exiting the feeding programmes by 2023 and that Msizi Africa Lesotho should be raising the income they need to fund feeding the children.
Thank you for your support, and for following us all on our journey.
Lucy Herron, Founding Trustee
Mooana is our first cow and we are delighted to welcome her to the Msizi Africa family! Stay in touch for more news on how our dairy project is progressing.
Chris has served as the Charity’s Treasurer since 2020. Chris is a Chartered Accountant and has a background in international finance and accounting, and he has worked in the UK, California and Switzerland, focusing on the life sciences and healthcare sector. He was excited to join the Msizi Africa team as it allows him to share his skillset with such a great cause. In his spare time he enjoys travelling and learning French.
Nick is one of our newer Trustees and has a career in the world of financial services.
Nowadays, he works with clients across a variety of financial services organisations and
helps them to develop the delivery of their services.
Nick was delighted to be invited to become a trustee for a charity in a country that he
visited many years ago and that he found to have beautiful scenery but, even then, could
see that it was in need of help to ensure that what we take for granted in our own country
can be provided in Lesotho too.
When he has any spare time, Nick enjoys travel and visiting places of interest.
After working in the banking and finance industry in Africa and Europe
for over 15 years, Daphne co-founded and is CEO of a social enterprise
that promotes and supports artisans, craftspeople and designers in
Africa’s creative economy.
Daphne first fell in love with Lesotho in 1992 when she spent two weeks
camping in the breath-taking Maloti-Drakensburg Mountains. She is
passionate about being a part of Africa’s development and is very proud
to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money to support African women
micro-entrepreneurs. Daphne is looking forward to contributing to the
transformative work of Msizi Africa.
Fifi was the General Manager at Mants’ase Children’s Home for over five years during which she worked closely with Msizi Africa to provide for the children’s needs and also as a sponsor to the home. Her warm but assertive attitude has enabled her to instil discipline in the children whilst showering them with love and encouragement to pursue their dreams and be self sufficient in the future. She is equipped with credible knowledge and experience in working with children and young people, and Community Development. These attributes coupled with her impeccable managerial skills make her a valuable Director of our Youth Programme.
We have been working with Mochesane since 2009. His passion for his village, his genuine care for orphans, and his successful career as an agricultural expert makes him the perfect Country Director! Mochesane manages all our programmes on a strategic and day to day level.
Lucy founded Msizi Africa in 2007 after spending 6 months volunteering at Mants’ase Children’s Home and falling in love with the children and the country. Lucy has travelled extensively throughout Africa and is passionate about making sure the children she meets reach their full potential, and she believes this starts with a good meal every day. Her work in the charity sector has seen her recognised in many areas including winning the prestigious Vodafone Foundation “World of Difference” award.
Because of the covid 19 lockdown, we have been unable to fundraise which has resulted in a significant drop in our income. We are very sad to announce that we have to cut the number of villages we feed in from five to three, with the very painful reality that 57 children will now go without food every day. It is their only lifeline and one which we never, ever wanted to cut. We are truly sorry for the devastating impact this will have on the children.