Recruitment for 2021 is on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Teachers in Wales have the opportunity to help improve education in rural Lesotho in southern Africa for five months, an opportunity to be immersed in another culture, and utilise teaching skills in a totally different environment.
Since the programme launched in 1985, Wales and Lesotho have formed a strong bond, individuals, communities and organisations in both countries have all benefitted from the partnership.
Each year teachers from Wales are given the chance to take the 8,600 mile trip to Lesotho; a country of just over two million people which is completely surrounded by South Africa, to visit schools and share skills. The project lasts for about six months – from January to June and is a fantastic opportunity to work in the mountainous region of Lesotho and share your experiences with schools in Wales.
The programme is run by Dolen Cymru and the British Council Wales through the Welsh Government's International Education Programme.
Because of travel restrictions due to Covid-19, we were unable to recruit teachers from Wales to travel to Lesotho during 2020. So instead Dolen Cymru mentored and trained teachers in Lesotho through online video and text messaging platforms.
Lead teachers in Lesotho created digital teaching resources for online platform development. Some teachers worked on their professional development by completing a 20-week online course on Jolly Phonics; learning which they hope to pass on to their students and colleagues.
Feedback from teachers in Lesotho emphasises the need for immediate access to digital resources as a result of Covid-19. Many of the teachers in Lesotho have learnt new digital skills, improved their confidence, shared ideas and are part of a new professional network between Wales and Lesotho.
Welsh volunteers have been running remote mentoring sessions in maths through the Facebook Basotho Maths Club with participants from all over Lesotho.
In November 2020, Dolen Cymru led an online international conference sharing stories from volunteers in Wales and Lesotho. It was opened by Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language, and Susie Ventris-Field, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
You can watch a video recording of the conference here
Collaboration for 2021
Teachers in Lesotho want to continue creating digital resources, and participate in online learning events for maths and literacy, mentoring and coaching, school leadership and learner well-being to support schools when they are able to re-open.
If you would like information about joining the professional network between Wales and Lesotho, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org