Posted on Jun 15, 2024
Surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho is a nation of 1.9 million people, 40% of whom live in severe poverty with income of less than $1 a day and 25% who are HIV positive. One result is 300,000 children who are orphans. The orphaned children of Lesotho are sometimes abandoned in trash dumpsters, toilet pits, or found alone in a forest.
Beautiful Gate is a non-profit organization that provides a home for younger Lesotho orphans up to age 6 and continually operates at full capacity. After that age, the children are forced into the broken and unmanageable foster system which leaves many to become victims of human trafficking or child labour. One of the world’s smallest nations, Lesotho is second in the world for child human trafficking.
To care for unadopted, older children aged from 6 to 18, the orphanage has now developed “Beautiful Gate 2: Peka Project” with support of $25,550 from some Rotary clubs in District 5040, led by the Bowen Island club, and a $10,000 District Grant from The Rotary Foundation. The Project is a farm, school and special needs facility as a caring home and community for these children. It gives the older orphans an opportunity to be children, give them a chance at life and ultimately find them adopting “forever families”, in Lesotho or abroad. 
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Beautiful Gate acquired 33 acres of arable land which had been open range used by local shepherds. Before a new childcare centre, farm, school, and home could be built on the land until the property was fenced and secured and water sourced via a borehole. Security was a concern for safety of construction equipment and farming as well as those living there. 
As a farm, Beautiful Gate 2: Peka Project is raising crops for consumption and for sale. The farm is providing not only resources, but practical skill training for the young residents: to educate the children in the skills of farming and agriculture management and administration. 
As a school, the Project is educating children to prepare them for a successful life with a secondary school diploma and a chance at higher education and further training.
It even serves as a facility for children with special disabilities living on the campus and from the local communities.
Overall the Project is a community, offering the stability, security, and connection the orphaned children need, as a home, giving them an idyllic countryside setting where they can play, grow, and prosper as the next generation of Lesotho citizens. It is a
non-profit organization with direct ties to the local government bodies which work together for the betterment of their people.
The 1,670 metres of fence, 1.2 metres high, required 5 double-stranded barbed wire strands and 76 posts of light galvanized steel, stays and a 6 metre-wide gate, purchased from a local vendor, ShadePort and Steel Ltd. Another injection into the local economy, where unemployment is extremely high, was the hiring of local businesses and labourers to build the fence and one to provide security and caretaking services. 
33 acres of pasture land is now fenced to enclose the Project as a home and school for older orphans
Funding sources for the $35,554 project came from the Rotary Clubs of Bowen Island, West Vancouver Sunrise, Vancouver Mountain View, Pender Harbour, Powell River Club and Sechelt plus a District Grant of $10,000.00.
Five Rotarians worked on the project committee doing various tasks such as: public speaking at other Rotary clubs and private organisations to raise awareness and funds; planning and filing for the District 5040 grant; handling funds and financial records and liaison with international partners in Lesotho; writing articles for the local community newspaper to raise awareness of Rotary’s involvement.
Five other club members joined the committee to work on fundraising efforts, selling food through the club’s online store and distributing the produce at the Bowen Island Legion.