Malealea is a village in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, about the size of Wales. It is largely populated by subsistence farmers, who have had very poor crops this year due to the recent dry seasons. A large proportion of the population is fed by the World Food Programme. The average lifespan is 32 years. This is due to emphysema contracted through open fires used for cooking in their homes, and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. Many children are double orphans as they have lost both parents to AIDS. Schooling is not free so many orphans have to be funded through scholarships.
The 2013 charity expedition will be the 6th one from Carlton Community College involving children from Carlton, Athersley and Royston. In previous years, the children have been involved with improving school buildings at Malealea and Makheteng, creating a community vegetable garden, and installing a reservoir at Tsyane to enable food crops to be grown and cared for. Thousands of trees have been planted across the valley to help combat soil erosion and provide fuel for heating and cooking.
In 2013, the expedition team will focus on educating and encouraging local community members to use a “clean burn” stove. This will help to preserve fuel woods, as well as preventing smoke-related deaths and illness prevalent in the valley. It will also give the children chance to mix with other youngsters to gain insight into the different cultural differences, helping them with citizenship, health and life studies.
This will be a unique and life-changing experience for our young people. They are working hard to achieve the fundraising necessary to make this a success, and are well aware that without the continuing support of the local community, that such ventures as the expedition would not be possible.
The children would like to say a huge than you to the local community. Anyone who wishes to support the expedition individually can do so by donating to the following link:-