LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
It is with great pleasure that we present to you the Malealea Development Trust's Annual Report which covers activities conducted during the years 2008 and 2009. These have been productive and challenging years that have seen the MDT has continuing to take significant steps forward, working with and supporting communities in a range of ways that will be apparent, and impressive as you read this report. In my view, our most notable achievements are in the arenas of education and social care. At the end of 2009, we had seventy two (72) local children on scholarships to secondary and high schools in the area. We have also increased the number of supported orphans and vulnerable children to twenty five (25). Two hundred and seventy (270) HIV+ people are currently receiving nutritional supplements and transport stipends that make it possible for them to access the free medication provided by Government in the town centres (Mafeteng and Maseru) This kind of support has made a significant difference to the local community and has impacted directly on their well-being in a most meaningful way.
We are also proud to report that, in addition to engaging in efforts with communities, we have been working hard to strengthen and further develop our organisational structure and build 'the team' responsible for coordinating and facilitating community work. It is our firm belief that it is only through a robust organisation that we can facilitate empowered communities. We have spent time reflecting internally on ourselves as an organisation and on our activities. Over the last two years, Trustees have engaged in a number of Organisational Development workshops that have seen the emergence of a strategic plan for the next three years, as well as a basket of monitoring and evaluation tools that are helping us to continually appraise our programmes and efforts.
Our reflections have also helped to highlight enduring challenges, the foremost of which has been the need for greater capacity to strengthen the MDT in the implementation of its programmes and activities. To address this, we recruited two new local staff members, Mr Teboho Lenyora, who joined us as a computer trainer and field worker, and Ms Maphakiso Kelapa, who has taken on the challenge of providing logistical and psychosocial support to vulnerable children and families with whom the MDT works. In 2009, we raised funds for, and recruited, a Project Director who will assist with managing the current and future growth of the Malealea Development Trust. Ms Marion Drew will join the MDT in mid-2010, which we anticipate as a year of continued activities, further growth, and improved management of programmes.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to a number of organisations, institutions and individuals. First, we are particularly grateful to the Development Trusts Association (DTA) for and Mr Ken Dunn for hosting us in the United Kingdom in 2008. The MDT was invited by the DTA to present our work at their September 2008 international conference entitled 'Assets, Anchors and Enterprise'. This was a most constructive experience and we deeply valued the opportunity to showcase our work to this audience. To all the MDT staff, the board of Trustees and the many friends of Malealea Development Trust, your hard work has made our achievements over the last years possible. In addition, warm thanks go to the Malealea Lodge who have done so much to facilitate and support the work of the Trust. You have not only brought to our doorstep, friends in the form of tourists, but you have worked tirelessly to assist with channeling tourists' donations into the community.
Chair person of the Malealea Development Trust