CRS to implement govt’s livelihood project

MASERU – The Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Social Development (MGYSD) has enlisted the assistance of the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) to carry out the Pathway to Sustainable Livelihoods Project. 
“This is a project of the Government of Lesotho, executed through the Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Social Development, with CRS serving as the implementing partner,” said Kanono Thabane, CRS Programme Manager, in an interview earlier this week.
The project aims to improve the livelihoods of the poor and ultra-poor, focusing on women, youth from these households, and people with disabilities.

CRS has been contracted to implement Component 1(a) of the four components that comprise the entire project, which involves training households in economic inclusion activities and providing referral services.
“This is not a grant; it is a contract between the government and CRS to execute this project on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Social Development,” Thabane added.
According to the contract, CRS will support the first 5,000 of the 10,000 households selected from 10 communities across seven districts. CRS has divided this task into cohorts of 2,500 households, to be completed over three years.
Eligible households will need to undergo an application process to qualify for the training and meet the requirements to receive capital for starting small-scale businesses.
To kick-off the project, CRS hosted a week-long training session for 20 trainers from Phthiatsana and Bolahla, who will conduct community training sessions.

This initiative will be spearheaded by Caritas, a sister organisation to CRS. “CRS does not implement projects on the ground; it focuses on the theoretical aspects and enlists the help of organisations like Caritas for on-the-ground implementation,” Thabane explained.
CRS has also engaged Doorways, a spin-off from Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany, to facilitate personal initiative training for the trainers, who will then impart this knowledge to the participating households.
Households that complete the training will receive between US$300 (about M5 400) to US$400 (about M7 200) to start an economic activity capable of sustaining their livelihoods.
The government received a US$26.5 million (nearly half a billion maloti) loan to fund the Pathway to Sustainable Livelihoods Project 2022, which is expected to be completed by 2027.
The goal of the Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Social Development (MGYSD) is to reduce the number of people dependent on grants. Through this project, households will be able to sustain themselves, allowing the ministry to allocate grants to those who are most in need.