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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Lesotho Aids diary: Teacher

The BBC, with Medecins Sans Frontieres, is following the lives of seven people from the community of St Rodrigue, in Lesotho, who will share their hopes and fears as they each struggle to live with and work through the country's HIV/Aids crisis.


Mapaseka Mphaololi | Teacher | Mantsatlala village

Mapaseka Mphaololi, teacher

Here in St Rodrigue there are many children who are orphans. Their parents passed away because of HIV/Aids.

In my class, last year, there were at least 10 children who had no mother or father.

Everybody tries to help. If the children have nothing to eat, people take some mealie-meal (maize-meal) and cook for the children.

Myself, I recently helped three orphans.

Last week, a girl who is at high school asked for some paraffin to cook.

It's heartbreaking. I sometimes don't know what to do for them. I feel so much sympathy

She also came to me with the death certificates of her parents.

This was so that I could help her get them taken to the principal and the government, so that she could get help with school fees.

She said: 'Please Ma, I don't have this and this.' I help her with whatever she needs.

It's heartbreaking. I sometimes don't know what to do for them. I feel so much sympathy.

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Mapaseka Mphaololi with her class

But I think that their future will change. That high school girl I help, for example, her life is going to change for the better because she is getting an education.

She is staying in the hostel at the high school. They try to help by asking for donations. They are able to help a lot of orphans.

Expelled

For another orphan, I paid high school fees - and got her blankets, pillows, and everything she needed to stay at the high school hostel.

She became pregnant and had to leave school. Now I don't know where she is.

She was 16, and very brilliant and clever. I was teaching her, at primary school, from Standard 1 to Standard 2.

She was in form D, but then she got pregnant.

The [Catholic] sisters [of the school] turned her away because she was pregnant. The law said that pregnant students couldn't come to school.

Teacher Mapaseka Mphaololi (Photo: Olivia Blanchard, MSF)
Her life is going to change for the better because she is getting an education
She was ashamed of herself as well.

This year things are different. Now pregnant students come to school.

I'm a member of St Anne, a Catholic group for women.

We are asked to help those who are poor and the orphans. It's our spiritual work.

Last year, there was a nine-year-old girl who had to walk across the mountains and the snow.

She couldn't come to school because she had no uniform and no shoes, because her family was poor.

We asked the girl to come back to school and said we would try to help her.

I have a cloth that I am going to make her a uniform from.

I have a navy blue piece of cloth to make a uniform for that child. I will pay someone to sew it.

We are trying to help.



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