Life expectancy is 52 for men, and 55 for women. There is a high unemployment rate (23%), so many people live in extreme poverty and are food insecure – meaning they do not know day to day where their next meal is coming from.
HIV is the leading cause of death, and Lesotho has one of the highest prevalences of HIV in the world; over 23% of the 2.1 million population is HIV+. We have seen lives, both young and old, cruelly taken by AIDS which has left over 300,000 orphans struggling to survive.
The impact on just one child of being orphaned is devastating and sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the challenge ahead – but we have dedicated our lives to reaching some of these most vulnerable children left alone by the orphan crisis, and left hungry by a drought which has left 700,000 people at risk of starvation.
We are working tirelessly to feed more children in more villages.
Photographs: Deborah King and Michael Herron, © Msizi Africa