Bountiful Hope Foundation thanks the following foundations and/or companies for their support, partnership, and the work that they are doing to bring about positive change.
Good Shephard Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre for Teenage Mothers in Lesotho provides young mothers who are battling poverty and illness with a safe and supportive place to live while they learn to care for themselves and their children. All young mothers are admitted regardless of their faith, level of education or social status.
Founded in 2004, Help Lesotho works solely in the AIDS-ravaged country of Lesotho in southern Africa. Help Lesotho’s programs foster hope and motivation in those who are most in need: vulnerable children, girls, youth and grandmothers.
We reach between 15-20,000 direct beneficiaries annually.
Our work targets root causes and community priorities including education, leadership training and psychosocial support. Help Lesotho is an effective, sustainable international development organization working at the grass-roots level to create an AIDS-free generation, end the cycle of poverty and support the future leaders of Lesotho.
Rethabile (Evelyn) Palo
Rethabile Evelyn Palo is a woman whose family did not have the funds to send her to school after the 8th grade. Instead of giving up, at the tender age of 14, Evelyn moved to the capital city of Maseru on her own and started to work as a housemaid. She saved up her money and went to school at night because she knew the value of education. She worked hard and graduated high school. She continued to work in order to enroll in college. Through her determination, she earned her degree and secured a job as a bank teller. The odds of Evelyn actually doing this in a poverty-stricken country are enormous. Her tenacity, intelligence, and social skills impressed us so much that we hired her! Her story provides hope to the BH orphans. Thanks to your involvement, Evelyn is now the Project Manager for Bountiful Hope Foundation in Lesotho and we could not be happier with her performance.
We hope to be able to raise enough funds for Evelyn to travel to the United States to speak about her work in Lesotho. We look forward to introducing her to all of you! If you are interested in sponsoring her trip here to the US please contact Bountiful Hope Foundation.
My name is Rethabile Evelyn Palo. I am a Project Manager at Bountiful Hope Foundation. I am a single Mosotho woman.I am second born in the family of five children. My passion for education started when I was still at primary school. Things were still okay from grade one but when I was in grade 6 things started to change as my father was retrench from the mining in South Africa. It was very hard for my father to find another job. I succeeded to write my grade 7 examination and passed with first class pass that was in 1994. I qualified to be admitted at any school of my choice considering my symbols. Unfortunately that was determined by managing to pay the school fees.
I was admitted at one of the nearby high school, I was still happy to see myself going to school because looking at the situation in the family I could see that it was going to be difficult. I passed form A (Grade 8) very well. I felt like dying when my mother told me that she doesn’t think I would be able to go to school the following year because there was no money to pay for my fees for I still owed the Form A tuition fees. It was very hard for me to accept because I was so eager to see myself going to the University and being graduated.
As I was still at home wishing for any miracle to happen, one of the neighbours came to our house told mom that her sister’s friend is looking for someone to work at their home. I grabbed the opportunity as a way of being away from seeing my friends going to school every morning while I was staying at home. What was more painful was when they come to me after school and ask me to help them with their assignments, telling me that they miss me at school. I must be honest; my heart was bleeding every morning to see my friend going to school leaving me at home. There I was packing my things going to Maseru capital town of Lesotho.
I felt fortunate to work for people who understood my passion for education. They encouraged me to safe money so that the following year I attend the evening classes. The following year in 1997, I found the school in town and I succeeded to do four subjects of grade 10 and did remaining subjects so that I got Junior Certificate. It was not easy to be a housemaid, looking after children and making sure that I cook, clean the house and doing laundry while studying. Because I was looking at my goal, I persevered and passed the examination for the four subjects, the following year I completed the three subjects and passed them. Then I obtained Junior Certificate in 1998. In 1999 my father passed away. He was a loving and caring father, I felt open when I’m with him than with my mother. He was my friend. May his soul rest in peace!
Things turned sour when I was supposed to do Form D (grade 11). My employers were no longer able to pay me, so going to school was no longer possible, there was no payment. I struggled to find the job but all was in vain. After some years, I got a job at the shop; problem was that there was no chance of going to school and with the wages I got was assisting my mother and siblings. That couldn’t last the shop was closed and started struggling again, some days going to bed without food. My mother went to South Africa in 2003 looking for a job and she was doing laundry for people who paid her for the laundry she made. That only helps her to look after my two siblings who are staying with her in South Africa and my disabled nephew. My sister died in 2004 after giving birth and her son is disabled my mother is taking care of him.
I got a job of waitressing at Mediterranee restaurant in 2002. That is where I met my precious American parents, Ntate Bill and ‘Mé Harriet Bierling. The love I got from them was the same love as from my biological parents, I felt at home and save when I was with them, that is still happening even today. That is why I call them my American parents. Things were not good at the restaurant, working condition was not good. Mr and Mrs Bierling helped to find me a job at one of the lodge in Maseru, they knew the manager. After some years working at the lodge, that passion of going to school was still burning inside me. There were two working shifts and I was working the afternoon shift, so in 2007 I started going to the morning classes doing four subjects of Form E (grade 12). Fortunately I passed them and in 2008 continue with the other three subjects and I performed well and obtained the High school certificate. While still paying for my fees I was also paying for my younger sister’s fees and in the other side still helping my mother financially.
In 2009 I was admitted at one of the collage in Maseru, Lerotholi Polytechnic doing Diploma in Business management. Now I was seeing my dream of graduating near. When I looked at my finances I realized that life is going to be difficult if I can stop going to work. I continued to work at the lodge while going to school because my mother and siblings are looking at me to answer for their needs. I passed at the college and graduated in 2011, fortunately got the job at the bank just after graduating, working as a teller from 2011 to 2015.
With that determination of going to school and being educated, in 2015 I applied for Advanced Diploma in Project Management, the program of ICM in UK, enrolled in Lesotho at the Institute of Development Management. I was admitted and the course took one year with the classes starting after working hours. On the same year towards the year end, I got a job at Bountiful Hope Foundation. I was appointed the Project Manager and the person in charge of the Lesotho office. I am so honoured to be part of a team which is working hard with all their determination to give HOPE to most vulnerable children of Lesotho. To give them HOPE that they deserve good and better live just like all other children. BHF understand that their family misfortune does not have to be the barrier to their bright future. Through my work I wish to inspire Basotho children especially vulnerable ones who think that their family misfortune can determine their future or success.
My mother is sick now and has to take care of my disable nephew; it is very hard he is twelve years old now. My younger sister is going to vocational school this year and my youngest sister is doing grade 12, will be in university next year. All of them are looking at me to assist them.
Through my hard work I wish to inspire orphans, vulnerable children, my siblings, relatives and everyone who think being poor means being futureless and not being able to follow their dreams. We do not have to let our misfortune to halt us to work hard for the better future.
Educational Social Worker
Bountiful Hope is excited that one of our first orphans ever sponsored Francis, was able to overcome various challenges he faced as an orphan and not only graduate from High School, but go on to receive special training in social work counseling. Hiring Francis is very significant as the current BH orphans and vulnerable learners can see an example of tangible hope. Currently, Francis is working with 85 orphans in about 21 different schools. Francis encourages, monitors, and advocates for the sponsored youth, as various individual needs arise. Since Francis knows what it takes to successfully make it through school as an orphan in Lesotho, he offers the empathy, wisdom, and experience the orphans need to persevere.
- Francis is also involved in an Advisory group that meets bi-monthly to discuss various issues regarding bringing the best possible care to the vulnerable of Lesotho. The Advisory group is largely made up of Former Bountiful Hope Foundation Beneficiaries.