Motlatsi Jonas Mofolo

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Organizing Community Service Opportunities for LGCSE Completing StudentsLesotho

Motlatsi Jonas Mofolo is a motivated gender and human rights practitioner from Lesotho. He has 7 years of experience in civil society, lobbying, and advocating for the promotion and protection of the rights of marginalized populations. He has worked in research, women empowerment, capacity building, strategic litigation, social justice, and other developmental initiatives through gender and rights-based approaches. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB.) and a Master of Laws in Human Rights Law (LLM.), both from the National University of Lesotho. He participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship program, taking a leadership in civic engagement class at the University of William and Mary and the University of Virginia, under the Presidential Precinct. Mofolo envisions a world free of gender inequalities; a world where even the most vulnerable populations have equal access to social, cultural, economic, and political opportunities.

At Sonke, he works as the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) specialist and will be working alongside the PD/GESI Advisor in the GESI portfolio. Supporting and strengthening the regional programs and other projects under the guidance and direction of the PD in line with Sonke’s Strategic direction. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Organizing Community Service Opportunities for LGCSE Completing Students

The project ignited and promoted community service and volunteerism in young people who just completed high school, so that they could commit their time to addressing social problem facing their own communities, thereby consequently promoting a culture of responsible citizenry in the upcoming generation of young people in Lesotho. The project featured weeklong trainings at two local schools for a total of 181 participants who learned about civic engagement, social problems, and community service. The 35 project participants who continued to the next phase of the project were supported by mentors as they gained valuable experience implementing a total of 11 community service projects in their local area. A total of 437 people benefitted from the 11 community projects that the participants implemented, with an estimated 250 secondary beneficiaries, such as family members of direct beneficiaries. Motlatsi also conducted site visits throughout the course of the participant’s projects to help identity and overcome challenges they faced while implementing their initiatives.

After completion of the project, both of the target schools requested Motlatsi’s support to assist the schools with building a similar project on their own, so that the initiative can be continued beyond this project, as a compulsory extra-curricular activity of the schools. All 11 of the students’ projects are expected to continue until the students begin college in August, leading to a sustained impact in the community. A project partner reflected, "For the first time I see what it is that we can do as a country to make sure that educated young people stay and invest their skills into developing their own communities...If schools in Leribe can continue with this project for the next 5 years, we will become a national example of true patriotism."

"For me I am grateful for the opportunities that my community service project has brought for me. From now on I will be a full-time volunteer supporting village health workers in my village with their community activities, and I hope to work for Civil Society Organizations when I finish school, so that I can also empower other young people to serve their communities." - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Motlatsi was a participant in the IVLP Project Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities, organized by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning.

Motlatsi's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "The IVLP experience provided insight into how U.S. organizations have leveraged the power of communities they serve in order to place such communities at the forefront of their own transformation. Volunteerism was at the hub of such efforts."

U.S. Communities Visited

Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; Washington, DC; Jacksonville, FL; Albuquerque, NM; Philadelphia, PA

Country: Lesotho 

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