Help Lesotho is a non-profit organization registered in both Canada and Lesotho that
delivers grassroots mental health support and training programs in rural communities
in southern Africa decimated by AIDS, poverty, unemployment and gender-inequity.
Our vision is that:
Youth of Lesotho to have the support and agency to
create healthy and self-sustaining futures.
We are committed to excellence in everything we do!
We can and will tell you exactly where your donations go and why. We proudly maintain our Imagine Canada Accreditation annually in recognition of our exceptional accountability and transparency.
– See our Financials –
Our programs are funded by a combination of donor support (individuals, businesses, schools, churches, corporations and community groups) and international funders. We have raised over $23,000,000 CAD without government support. Every dollar is appreciated and maximized in Lesotho!
All programs and approaches are developed and delivered in consultation with civil society organizations, local community leaders, chiefs, government ministries, police, and health workers.
The King and Queen of Lesotho are longstanding supporters and advocates.
Help Lesotho’s programs are delivered by an all-local team of highly trained staff who are deeply committed to the beneficiaries they serve. A small Canadian staff supports their efforts. 80% of staff are female.
Sustainable capacity building
Nearly all Help Lesotho staff are graduates of Help Lesotho programs. Our professional internship program rigorously trains and capacitates these talented young people as they specialize in supporting specific populations and topics. Our interns grow into compassionate, all-star employees and leaders for our organization or other employment opportunities across the country.
We always prioritize locally-defined needs over funder-driven agendas. We work in rural, mountainous communities that are difficult to reach because that is where the needs are greatest. We are committed to long-term support so participants and communities have the time to build their resilience and initiate behavior change. We do not support band-aid solutions.
What others say about us
“I can honestly say that being involved with Help Lesotho has been one of the biggest pleasures of my life.” – John Graham
“I believe wholeheartedly that the programs really make a difference in the lives of those choosing to be a part of them, both donors and recipients. It’s a win/win organization.” – Trudy Bennett
“I support Help Lesotho because I know exactly where my money is going and how it is benefiting the people of Lesotho. Plus I have met the staff and they are extraordinary.” – Jean McNabb
“Help Lesotho is reaching the grass roots level in Lesotho and they impact many, many people”. – Hugh Dorward
“The part I like most about Help Lesotho is that they focus on what is needed the most: empowerment of girls and battle against gender based violence.” – George Monese
“I know the support will be maximised to help people most in need in ways that are most beneficial for short and long term benefits.” – Sheryl Selwyn
“I appreciate knowing that the money is actually going to those who need it and not to a bureaucracy.” – R.J. Birnbaum
“Help Lesotho supports people in a deep and life-changing way, and not in a short-term, superficial way. It empowers people and gives them strength and new skills to navigate through life.” – Patty Freeman
“It’s great to receive “real-time” updates about programs; the specific features on individuals, seeing updates directly from staff – it is clear the work is really being done!” – Taylor Holmes
Leading the team
Dr. Peg Herbert
Founder and Executive Director
Peg founded Help Lesotho in 2004 after personally witnessing the staggering suffering and bravery of the people of Lesotho, southern Africa at the height of the AIDS pandemic. As an educational psychologist with over 45 years of experience with vulnerable people, she worked directly with local community members and youth to develop outstanding programs and approaches that have profoundly changed the lives of the people of Lesotho.
As Help Lesotho’s Executive Director, Peg continues to support the outstanding team of 40+ local Basotho staff who deliver sought-after life skills workshops, psychosocial support and community outreach to over 15,000 beneficiaries ever year. While Help Lesotho is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Peg spends several months a year on the ground in Lesotho improving program impact, meeting with local partners and beneficiaries, developing staff capacity, and ensuring financial accountability.
In 2019, Peg responded to requests and launched a new initiative called CHANGE4ce to build the capacity of psychosocial support providers from other organizations and lines of work. CHANGE4ce offers online courses and coaching, groups discussion sessions, and in-person training. This includes a highly regarded 12-session psychosocial support course, a course on facilitation, and a course to help teachers deliver psychosocial support in the classroom.
‘Mamoletsane is an experienced development worker with expertise in program development, program implementation, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building of different vulnerable groups including adolescents, women and girls.
She has worked in various countries and settings to ensure effective advocacy strategies with active participation of community members, especially women, partner CBOs, NGOs, government authorities and other stakeholders.
She is a strong program and project management professional with a BA in Public Administration and Sociology from the National University of Lesotho and is completing a Masters in Development from the University of Free State (Bloemfontein, RSA) with a dissertation on Forced and Early Female Marriage in Eastern Zambia.
- Kathleen Lauder
- Bill Austin
- Margie Hooper
- Zaida Bastos
- Cathy Steele
- Kim Rogers
- Mary Dawson
- Shola Iyoho
- Susan Richardson
Kathleen Lauder is now retired and living in the Gatineau Hills, 30 minutes from Ottawa, Canada. Kathleen’s career has been primarily in the area of Governance and International Development. She has worked for consulting firms and international development organizations, but the majority of her career was spent as a Director responsible for International Development with the Institute On Governance, based in Ottawa, Canada. Kathleen lived and worked in Malaysia for 7 years where she led a project aimed at strengthening governance in the ASEAN countries. Most recently she was the Country Director for World Renew based in Cambodia. During her 6 years in Cambodia Kathleen provided leadership to local staff and local partners to empower poor and vulnerable populations in rural communities to manage their social and economic development. Kathleen has been involved as a donor and volunteer with Help Lesotho since its inception. This brought her to Lesotho twice in its early years. She has great admiration for Help Lesotho’s sustainable, relevant and effective approaches to meeting the development challenges in Lesotho.
Bill Austin held various senior executive positions in the Government of Canada including Assistant Secretary at the Treasury Board Secretariat and Assistant Deputy Minister, Claims and Indian Government at Indian and Northern Affairs. Since his retirement the Public Service in 2006, Bill was appointed Chair of two Departmental Audit Committees at Natural Resources Canada and Public Safety Canada. He was Executive Director for the taskforce examining Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP and participated in two OECD missions examining governance in Poland and the UAE. Bill holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa. His volunteer activities include being a board member of an organization supporting second stage housing for battered women and their children. He is keen to be involved with Help Lesotho and to contribute to the organization.
Co-Chair, HR Committee
Margie Hooper is the Broker General Manager of RE/MAX Hallmark in Ottawa. After her BA from Carleton University, Margie worked at the Canadian Security Establishment, had four children and lived in Toronto and Halifax before returning to Ottawa to begin careers in real estate. With her husband Jeff, Margie opened KWO in 2001, now RE/MAX Hallmark in Ottawa, the largest real estate office in Ottawa. Since 2008, Jeff and Margie have embraced the opportunity to support Help Lesotho both financially and by providing office space at their Bronson location. For Margie the presence of Help Lesotho in the workplace has enriching! Seeing the dedicated people involved this wonderful charity has been motivating. Margie is delighted and honoured to join the board of Help Lesotho.
Chair, Program Committee
Zaida Bastos has more than 35 years of experience in international development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She is the Development Partnerships Program Director at the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. She was previously the Executive Director of the Working Group on Refugee Resettlement (WGRR) in Toronto. WGRR worked with the UNHCR, Canada Immigration and other agencies to resettle refugees at risk in Canada. Zaida also worked at UNESCO in Paris and the UNDP in Angola.
Zaida’s work expertise is in community development; gender equality; organizational development; and planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects. Zaida is also a published writer.
Zaida is pleased to join the Help Lesotho board to contribute to good development in Lesotho that benefits thousands of people.
Chair, Finance & Audit Committee
Cathy is a CPA, CGA having worked in the real estate development industry for 30 years. As a corporate controller Cathy has been engaged in all aspects of finance: cost efficiency, risk management, financial reporting, as well as human resources. Cathy has been involved in several charities over the years in the capacity of Board member and Treasurer. Cathy visited Lesotho in 2017 and has witnessed first-hand the positive impact that Help Lesotho has had on its recipients.
Co-Chair, HR Committee
Kim Rogers is the National Director of Leader Effectiveness and a Senior Consultant with Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions in Ottawa. As a trained assessor and certified coach, she helps maximize individual, team and organizational leadership capacity to realize organizations’ strategic goals in the private and public sectors. Kim has experience as a senior consultant at a Toronto boutique leadership development firm, as a change management consultant in the Energy sector and at the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations in Geneva, where she co-authored a book on workplace violence.
Kim holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph, a BA from Queen’s, a graduate of Corporate Coach U and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation. Kim is thrilled to be on the Help Lesotho Board and to be part of the talented team who is making a meaningful impact in the lives of children, youth and grandmothers in Lesotho.
Chair, Governance Committee
Mary Dawson has been the Conflict and Ethics Commissioner since 2007. She retired from the Department of Justice in 2005, having held the position of Associate Deputy Minister since 1988. She held leading roles in the area of legislative drafting, public law and constitutional law. Mary has been involved in a number of international activities, including an executive position in the International Bar Association. On the local community level, she has served on the Ottawa Hospital Board from 2006 to 2014 and as an Adjunct Governor of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in 2014-2015. She is a strong supporter of theatre. Mary holds degrees from three Canadian universities, was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1978 and was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007. Mary is keen on her work with Help Lesotho. She is particularly impressed with the low overhead in the administration and the dedication of those involved in this enterprise as well as the emphasis on helping girls and women.
Shola is an experienced Program Development Professional with work history in diverse local and international development NGOs.
She holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs, and a Project Management Practioner Certification. She is well-rounded, with experience spanning Program Design & Management, Strategy Development, Stakeholder Engagement, Public Speaking etc.
Shola is committed to contributing to programs that seeks dignified living for all, and sustainably improves the lives of the most disadvantaged.
As a person of African descent, she understands unique development challenges in the continent and the need to delicately design low dependency programs targeted towards its challenges. This endeared her to Help Lesotho and its series of laudable programs.
Susan has extensive senior executive experience with over 30 years experience in the information technology, insurance, finance and software industries. Her diverse areas of focus include; sales, operations, professional services, business development and customer service. She also brings extensive coaching experience in Financial Services, Capital Markets and advancement of women.
Susan’s career is built with a strong people and management foundation with 14 years experience at IBM. She has applied this to the fast paced world of two start-up organizations which culminated in the executive position of a North American Professional Services and Customer Care organization at a large software firm. In addition to her business interests, Susan is active in the not-for profit community. She has vast board experience in the areas of strategic planning, communications, governance, development, leadership and fund raising.
Thanks to RE/MAX Hallmark,
the Canadian office (Ottawa, ON) is rent-free!
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