Charities on the brink as inflation rises



MASERU – Charities around the globe are experiencing a major decline in donations and funds due to inflation and Lesotho has not been spared the brunt. The Bank of England has warned inflation could reach 11 percent, and that businesses have seen a rapid escalation in prices, while food bank charities say donations are down as a result.

This was reported by the BBC, highlighting that food price increases are affecting charities and food banks, which have seen demand for their services grow while donations decline.  The donations rate was very high during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic but as inflation hits the peak there has been a progress decline in donations – and the trend seems to be global.

Charities in Lesotho are also facing a similar situation, with some being forced to cut down on daily spending to beat the current situation. Speaking to this publication, Public Relations and Fundraising Manager at the Beautiful Gate Lesotho (BGL) in Maseru, Lehlohonolo Moletsane, said due to high inflation, much had to change on how the home runs.

He said they have been forced to change food menus and cut some of their activities to fit the low budget they are currently facing. Beautiful Gate Lesotho is a home for vulnerable children aged between 0 and five, where the home has a huge responsibility of taking care of minor children.

“The home is under a very strict budget, and for now we’re only ensuring that children have essentials such as food because we are forced to cut most of the things due to the decline in the donations we receive which are no longer able to cover everything,” he said.

He further highlighted that, they have what they call a monthly target on various goods and services which they normally receive donations for. Nonetheless, they are now unable to reach the target.

“Right before Covid, we were able to meet most of our targets, but I think now we meet about only 60 percent of our targets,” he said, adding that there are still people who donate food parcels and clothes but the numbers have declined.

Due to the sharp decline in donations, he said the home is willing to explore long-term partnerships with various organisations to avoid the once-off donations that the home normally experience. “We are also trying to introduce income projects to assist us make our own income. For instance, we have a land in Peka where the plan is to produce maize and beans so that the land would be our source of food.

“This is among projects we are working on towards fighting the current situation. This will make it easy for us to access food, since we are aware that donors are also struggling and local support has declined, so we trying to do something as Beautiful Gates,” he said.

Apart from that Moletsane said ever since Covid-19 hit even the number of babies adopted from their home decreased due to international travels restrictions.

“Most people who adopt our babies are outside Lesotho, so when the international trips were restricted, we witnessed a high number of babies in our home, but now that restrictions were uplifted we see light and adoptions are becoming normal,” he pointed out, adding that the home currently has about 69 babies.

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