Our mission is to empower and equip families and communities to minister to the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of Lesotho’s orphans and vulnerable children.
One child who is orphaned, abused or abandoned, is one child too many. While this is true all over the world, our story is specific to Lesotho.
Lesotho is often called “The Forgotten Kingdom”. In this mountainous country, orphans and vulnerable children make up 50% of the child population.* Much of this is due to HIV and AIDS, as Lesotho has the second highest HIV infection rate in the world at 23.3%. That’s nearly one in four people.
But it wasn’t always this way.
The story starts in 1980 when Faith Foundation founder, Reno Schalm, moved his family from the plains of Canada to the mountains of Lesotho. He and his wife, Nancy, worked in rural development and education until they left in 1991. HIV and AIDS were hardly heard of in those days.
When friends from Lesotho visited Reno and Nancy in 2003, HIV and AIDS were devastating much of sub-Saharan Africa’s social and economic structure. They shared many stories of the impact of HIV in Lesotho. The stories were daunting and personal. They weren’t about people and faces they had never seen. They were about friends, co-workers, and even children they knew.
It was then that Faith Foundation shifted its focus from central Florida to respond to requests for help in Lesotho. In 2005 Faith Foundation began working with Mants’ase Children’s Home. Since then we have expanded our work in various capacities. Take a look at What We Do to learn more!
In Lesotho, we are registered and operate as Trust for Africa.
*number of orphans and vulnerable children divided by child population (488,500 /970,000). Sources: Lesotho Ministry of Social Development, 2012, and UNICEF http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/lesotho_statistics.html