Vodacom Lesotho Foundation
Vodacom Lesotho Foundation the charity arm of Vodacom Lesotho is mandated to invest in critical areas of development, in line with the Government of Lesotho’s national strategic development plan. It supports sustainable initiatives that drive social change, improve people’s lives and solve pressing social needs.
The Foundation has introduced a number of initiatives to drive its new strategic objective of becoming a technology-oriented Foundation, combining charity work with technology to deliver transformational projects that improve and enhance the living conditions of Basotho.
Since 2009, The Vodacom Lesotho Foundation has invested over M150 Million, in the areas of health, education, social welfare, gender equity and women empowerment, youth empowerment, safety and security. The Foundation, in partnership with Vodafone Foundation, has committed to invest a further M120 million, into Lesotho over the next 5 years, in the areas of gender equality and economic development, education, and health.
The Foundation is funded by Vodacom Lesotho and the Vodafone Group Foundation, and is managed by a Board of Trustees. The Foundation’s Trustee Board is comprised of two Vodacom Lesotho Executives and four independent directors. The Board is responsible for the governance and financial management of the Foundation, and ensures that the Foundation delivers on its purpose and goals.
Vodacom Foundation Insight Centre
Vodacom Insight Center is library for the blind and visually impaired persons, which is housed within the State Library. The center enables equal access and inclusion by providing visually impaired persons with specialized services, books, and materials inappropriate media.
Supported by Vodacom’s 4G technology, the digital library hosts the latest innovation and technology with functionalities including but not limited to: a world-leading braille translator that supports more than 170 languages in either contracted on uncontracted braille; a high volume production braille printer; a self-contained motion-activated reading device that instantly reads from any book or printed material; and a rechargeable digital talking book reader which enables visually impaired people or those with print disabilities to read digital documents on memory cards or memory sticks.
Through m-mama, we are using mobile technology to connect pregnant women to care when they need it the most, and working to reduce rates of maternal mortality, identified as the number one health challenge by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. At the core of m-mama is a cost-effective emergency transport system to significantly reduce maternal mortality in areas with limited or inefficient ambulance services.
The programme aims to address complications as quickly and effectively as possible, recognizing that many fatal pregnancy complications are difficult to predict.
The system uses a network of local taxi drivers to act as ‘taxi ambulances’ in areas where ambulances are rarely available:
Vodafone Foundation launched the m-mama program in 2020 in collaboration with the Government of Lesotho, Clinton Health Access Initiative, and other partners.
Vodacom Foundation Bursary
Vodacom Lesotho Foundation has introduced a new initiative in Lesotho aiming to empower young generation with digital skills and knowledge. The Vodacom Foundation Bursary Fund is a scholarship program dedicated to graduate students who have applied and been accepted by accredited South African Universities for undergraduate studies and have limited financial abilities to afford the tuition.
The program provides young indigenous Basotho a unique opportunity for scientific undergraduate degrees in the field of digitalization that may include, but not exhaustive fields such us: ICT, Innovation, IT, Telecommunication, Software Engineering, Robotics and Programming.
The Vodacom Innovation Park
The Vodacom Innovation Park is a technology-based business Incubator for young entrepreneurs in Lesotho, in any area of business, that are looking to leverage the power of technology and mobile communications to differentiate, and make their businesses more competitive and productive.
The Vodacom Innovation Park was established by the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation; with the aim to address some key challenges facing Lesotho’s entrepreneurs. The program focuses on three key issues to solve: lack of the right levels of skills, knowledge and discipline to manage and grow businesses; lack of office space, facilities, connectivity and office equipment for most entrepreneurs who end up working from home, limiting their ability to either reach clients, or depriving them of the opportunity to interact with the market; and thirdly, to a small extent, the program aims to address the issue of lack of access to finance for entrepreneurs. To address the third issue, the program has focused more on developing and preparing entrepreneurs to get to a level where they can secure finance and entice investors easily, as opposed to directly funding the entrepreneurs themselves. The program is also focused on building the right partnerships with financiers and investors who can fund and invest in graduates of the program, who will, without a doubt, be worth the investment.
For more information and learn how to apply please go to: www.theinnovationpark.co.ls
Vodacom Code like a girl
Code Like A Girl is a (5) five-day training workshop geared towards bridging the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s (STEM) careers. The #CodeLikeAGirl program is offered to girls aged 14-18 in high schools and provides basic knowledge of computer languages and development programs, including HTML, CSS, GitHub and Bootstrap, enabling students to develop a website by the end of the one-week course. All of this is irrespective of previous technological experience. The initiative looks to spike girls’ interest and encourage them to explore the countless possibilities of what they can do with coding to solve problems in their communities.
Empowering women and helping young people increase their skillset through technology are two important areas of focus for Vodacom as part of The Company’s 10-year sustainable goals. By 2025, Vodafone’s ambition is to be the best employer for women.
The Vodacom Dignity Campaign
The Vodacom Dignity campaign, is an initiative which will provides girls with reusable, washable, modern and eco-friendly sanitary pads with a lifespan of up to five years. The pads are a sustainable resource, which allow girls to wash and reuse them, rather than having to buy disposable sanitary pads every month. In addition, they are inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The social benefit of the reusable pad stand to greatly mitigate the disadvantages many disempowered girls endure during their process of maturing.
Through this campaign, we aim to ensure that girls have access to safe and hygienic sanitary products, as well as raise awareness around women’s health. We look to help girls reclaim the dignity that poverty denies them and enable them to make a lasting and positive impact on the communities they live in and society as a whole. We believe that when girls and women have health, education, and opportunity, communities and our world are stronger.