Why Lesotho?

Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the world – just under one in four people in the country are living with HIV. [1] In 2009, there were around 23,000 new HIV infections and approximately 14,000 people died from AIDS. [2] Over half of the 260,000 adults living with HIV in Lesotho are women. [3] There are currently more than 200,000 orphans in Lesotho, most of whom are AIDS orphans. [4]

In 2012, Mark and Jennifer Crow visited their friends, Gary and Marilyn Skinner, at Watoto Church in Uganda. They were inspired by the ingenious way in which the local church there joined with supporters from around the world to take care of thousands of orphans. They wondered if this plan could work in Lesotho. In the Spring of 2013, BDS became aware of a number of Lesotho orphanages that were closed by the government because they were not meeting governmental standards.

A few organizations and individuals reached out to the Beautiful Dream Society concerning the 200,000 destitute orphans in Lesotho, asking if there could ever be a possibility when BDS could help take care of orphans in Lesotho. Jennifer, remembering her dream from 2008, picturing the woman with her hurting children, began to pray about the situation. After praying and consulting with team members, it seemed the Holy Spirit was leading Victory Church to join with the Beautiful Dream Society to form Beautiful Dream Villages in Lesotho. In these Villages, supported by the church and community, orphans would be cared for in traditional village environments, and the children would be matched with Moms, ensuring more personal care.

The first eight children were brought into the Beautiful Dream Love House in December 2013, along with a dedicated Mother to care for them. Another Mother was added, along with a Relief Mother in training. Shortly thereafter, four additional children came into the home, making a total of twelve children and three Mothers.

The first BDS Village is planned to open in 2014 after the model of Watoto Children’s Villages. In each home, one Mother will care for eight children. The village environment will consist of nine homes in a circle, along with a school and a church that the children will attend. Both the school and the church will be open to the community as well.

References

[1] UNGASS (2010) ‘UNGASS Country Progress Report’
[2] UNAIDS (2010) ‘UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic’
[3] UNGASS (2010) ‘UNGASS Country Progress Report’
[4] http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/lesotho_statistics.html#76