LNFOD celebrates major milestone

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The Lesotho National Federation of the Disabled (LNFOD) celebrated the World Humanitarian Day with a ground breaking ceremony of the organisation’s LNFOD’s much needed head offices which will be an exemplary flagship building of inclusive design in the country.

The offices are being designed and built by International NGO Relationships Inspiring Social Enterprise (rise).

Established in 1989, LNFOD is a non-profit that represents organizations of persons with disabilities. In order for the organization to grow, LNFOD has joined forces with rise international, through the in loco fellowship program to design and build offices that will serve as a beacon of hope for people living with disabilities.

These will be highly inclusive offices that will serve as a pedestal for all other inclusive spaces present, and those to come.

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The director of LNFOD, Nkhasi Sefuthi, says the organisation requires to have its own building in order to increase its independence and capacity as a civil society organization.

“LNFOD should be seen to practice what it preaches by having an inclusive and accessible building, which can be used by all persons with disabilities without any difficulties. The building should serve as the model for accessibility in Lesotho as a way of sending a strong message to service providers to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities,” said Nkhasi.

The ground breaking event for this momentous occasion took place at LNFOD’s site in Naleli on Wednesday last week.

On behalf of the main donors from Austria, Simone Peter and Elmar Hagmann, had this to say, “Ground breaking is always a historical moment. In this case ground breaking has a special significance for Sedlak GmbH and Brotfür die Welt who are partners in this symbolic project.

“This building project is not only providing long needed accessibility to our partner LNFOD but also creating learning opportunities for Basotho youth through rise international´s in loco project. To build an inclusive future for all, it is young people and young entrepreneurs who should form an essential part of this.

This building will be a visible example of how we can learn jointly and as a society to become more inclusive through creating accessible spaces.”

rise focuses on economic development through job creation and skills development in the built environment through a practical “learning by doing” design, build & entrepreneurship fellowship program.

As rise’s Founder and Executive Director, Daniela Gusman explained, “the process is as important as the end result, as the design and construction of the building offers young talented entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain essential practical work experience through this live project where they get to do everything from participatory design to project management, until the project is complete, under the guidance and supervision of Basotho and international professionals. We are very excited to be partnering with LNFOD, Sedlak GmbH and Brotfür die Welt for this our third in loco fellowship.”