Sekamaneng provides another model of AOP intervention. One of the most interesting factors is the villagers’ intent to link the supplying of accessible clean water to meeting additional community needs, namely providing food for parentless children in child-headed households. Consequently, the AOP intervention not only secured a reliable source for potable water, it contributed largely to building the capacity of the local community to meet other needs.
The following word image of a local pastor busily at work in the resulting garden project, is exemplary of the partnership buy-in of the local community, another core principle of AOP.
High in the mountains of Lesotho lies the village of Sekamaneng. The inhabitants live in mud huts and wrap in blankets in Southern Africa’s wintertime as protection against the cold and snow. This past Christmas (2007), the local Assemblies of God congregation in Sekamaneng was wishing for a well. The villagers needed a reliable source for potable water. They also were intent on growing vegetables to help feed a growing number of parentless children in child-headed households as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic throughout Africa.
AOP donors gave generously and the Sekamaneng well is providing water! During the past holiday season, AOP Team Leader Steve Evans and his wife, Glenda, travelled to Lesotho and to Sekamaneng. There they found a grateful pastor, not in suit and tie, but rather in blue coveralls, watering the new vegetable garden near the well. Pastor Sefuthi proudly showed the well, pump and storage tanks which answered their needs for water and increased their capacity to care for the children surrounding their church.
The Evans report, “As we drove away from this project, we saw many people with wheelbarrows loaded with all types of water containers. They were leaving the church grounds with the precious gift of clean water. While many in the world marvel at Christmas over sparkling jewelry or the latest electronic gadget, the villagers of Sekamaneng were overjoyed by something far more valuable…life-sustaining clean water, hauling it home in wheelbarrows!”