OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY & INVESTMENT IN HA LEJONE VILLAGE
Over and above its products and services for its visitors, Motebong Tourism believes in Responsible Tourism in Lesotho, Africa. To this end it has undertaken various initiatives in and around Ha Lejone where it is based, and from where it sources its staff.
All of this mentoring and efforts to support the community enterprises and individual business initiatives are done entirely at motebong lodge’s costs. It is its firm belief that through tourism, it can improve the lives of people and as they benefit from tourism they will be inspired to contribute towards developing their areas into attractive and hospitable destinations.
Motebong is also developing various initiatives for the benefit of the community that include:
- Discounted food supplies being prepared and delivered to the Sentebale HIV children’s support programme event held periodically at the ‘Mamohau hospital.
- Sports – sports equipment being donated to the local Limamarela soccer team of Ha Lejone.
- There are about 70 pieces of bedding, mainly duvet covers to be donated to the destitute around Ha Lejone in the period leading to winter. Beneficiaries have already been identified.
Motebong Tourism has made it one of its aims to assist in skills development wherever it operates in Lesotho, Africa. At motebong lodge it is offering the same opportunities for skills development with the initiatives already underway listed below.
- Duvets and sheet sewing – a local dressmaker Rosa Ramajake previously specialising in the sewing of lishoeshoe dresses, has been trained and subsequently contracted to sew duvets and sheets for motebong lodge. To-date she has sewn hundreds of sheets and duvets for motebong lodge and with this new found skill she has started attracting the attention of members of the community. (Picture!)
- Decoration and landscaping – the garden and maintenance staff has been given exposure and the opportunity to express themselves creatively in landscaping in the gardens, and creating decorations for use in the houses and other facilities. Under the guidance of management, the units that were opened in the last year have been decorated fully with local material that has been crafted creatively. A lady who makes baskets has also benefitted from this initiative as she makes baskets specifically designed for decorations. (Picture of Palo!).
- Repairs, rehabilitation and up-grades – the garden and maintenance staff has, under guidance, acquired skills for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the units, which has resulted in a number of units being brought into service. (Picture of Mochochi and Molefi!).
This programme has benefitted the concerned individuals in developing skills that they can use in other ventures and more importantly, helped them achieve a level of self-actualisation.
Motebong has undertaken a number of developmental initiatives in and around Ha Leone and continues to pursue additional opportunities of a similar nature.
Mallane community: the community owns a boat which was moored at Katse village for a long time with limited returns for the owners. Motebong has developed a strategy for marketing the boat optimally, between ourselves at Motebong and Katse village. It also discussed the adjustment of pricing to add more benefit to the community. To manage the risk of the community, it agreed to guarantee the community a fixed amount for each trip they take and Motebong takes the risk of an under-recovery as and when that arises.
Transport: Motebong has arrangements with transport operators from the area, one for goods and the other for transport. Shoapha Molatli collects all major items purchased and brought to Motebong e.g. furniture that was bought from Durban, Maseru and Maputsoe, while Nchafatso Molapo provides transport for guests for whom Motebong arranges package tours to explore the area along the Kao route to Afri-ski or to Katse dam in the comfort of being driven by a driver with experience in the area.
Food supplies: Local farmers have been encouraged to plant food supplies for Motebong to purchase. At present it sources Eggs and cabbage locally, with potatoes and carrots from time to time. It is also encouraging farmers to see the village as a market for these and other vegetables including fresh peas in season as well as dried fruit – mangangajane and lipabi.
Horse riding: Motebong found a Basotho Pony Association of Ha Lejone had existed in name only when it started operating as motebong lodge. The association was established with hope of renting horses to tourists as and when they arrived. The problem was there were no tourists and even if they were tourists, the amounts to be charged would not have justified the effort e.g. a rate of M100.00 per day was levied, as opposed the M100.00 per hour that is currently being charged. Motebong helped structure the charges for the association and created a market for them. Today the association has come to life and they are getting benefits from hiring their horses.
Duvets and sheet sewing: Rosa Ramajake, local dressmaker is being supported with procurement of material for making sheets and duvets. As with the Basotho pony association Motebong has also assisted in arriving at an optimum pricing to maximise her benefit. The quality and pricing has created a demand that suggest a great a very lucrative business is in the offing.
Fishing guides: A number of fly fishing enthusiasts want to experience fishing from the banks of the rivers that feed into the dam. Motebong has recruited a few young boys that are available over weekends and during school holidays that serve as guides.
See Activities in Ha Lejone.