Manteboheleng Mabetha

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Voice and Choice for Improved Decision MakingLesotho

Manteboheleng Mabetha has over 15 years of experience in gender mainstreaming and related development challenges in Lesotho. She worked with multiple national institutions and NGOs on gender related topics such as gender integration, gender-based violence (GBV) gender and climate justice and capacity building and training focused on woman's empowerment. She is also a member of the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance.

Manteboheleng served as Principal District Gender Officer for the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation. During this time, she was responsible for the coordination of the national gender program at the district level. In 2014, she decided to join Gender Links to become the Lesotho Country Manager. 

In her role at Gender Link, Manteboheleng has been engaged in the design of some innovative projects including the development of the smart phone app for Gender Based Violence. Her expertise in women's rights has contributed to the implementation of programs which have yielded positive results and has shaped women’s issues in Lesotho despite working with limited human resources. These include contributing to laws and policies that have changed the status of women. She has also worked on projects for community development in ten districts of Lesotho.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Voice and Choice for Improved Decision Making

The project provided support to 130 students in grades 8-10 who were directly reached through the establishment of youth clubs in two secondary schools in Mokhotlong district. The youth clubs were used as a platform to increase the capacity of adolescents to have access to the right information for informed decision-making in the context of gender inequality, regressive societal values, cultural norms and practices, socio-economic limitations, health related issues and the negative influence of peer pressure and social media. Specifically, Manteboheleng held three workshops at each club, and the students were able to improve self-awareness, leadership, conflict resolution, confidence, and mentoring skills while also learning about gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. The students were able to use the skills learned in the workshops to combat abuse in their personal lives and their surroundings. There were 15 stories of change collected from the two schools, and there has already been a 5% decrease in the number of pregnancies and GBV/SEA cases reported in the schools.

"I get very...worried seeing little girls dropping out of school as a result of pregnancy. I am very happy to have been part of this training as I will impart the knowledge that I gained to my friends." - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Manteboheleng was a participant in the IVLP Project Ending Gender-Based Violence, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Manteboheleng's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "[IVLP] has inspired me to dedicate my time [to] empowering young people to have information and skills that will help them break the circle of GBV, because they are the future."

U.S. Communities Visited

Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; Colorado Springs, CO; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Salt Lake City, UT

Country: Lesotho 

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