What does Sepheo mean?

Sepheo is the Sesotho word for purpose. We believe that life - and each person - has a purpose. This truth is the foundation of Sepheo. We don’t merely want to help people out of poverty, we want them to know that they were born for something significant.

Why don’t you post more pictures of the children you work with?

We do not take photos of youth and children for three main reasons:

  • To protect children. For many of the children we work with, we represent the only consistent relationship they have with an adult. Taking and using their photographs changes the nature of the relationship we have with them. It becomes something other than a safe, confidential, organic relationship. It becomes professional and to our gain, as opposed to genuine and out of love.
  • To preserve their dignity. Many of our children and youth are amongst the poorest in Lesotho. At times they are dirty and their clothes are in disrepair. Like most people, the children prefer to look their best for photos. 
  • They don’t like it. So many of the youth and children we meet dislike having their photo taken, especially by organisations. We respect their wishes. Some have recounted that other organisations have been taking their photos for years, but their situation still hasn’t changed. The act of having their photo taken feels like a betrayal and makes them feel used.

How is Sepheo funded?

Sepheo is funded from donations from individual and corporate donors, both local and international.

Where appropriate, Sepheo may enter into partnerships or bid for grants with local and international government and non-government bodies to meet mutual objectives.

Do you employ local staff?

We employ local staff and, where skills are available locally, this will always be our preference.

Is Sepheo a religious organisation?

Sepheo is a Christian organisation and unashamedly so. We do not separate the concept of purpose from the God who gives purpose. 

Faith or religious belief is not a pre-requisite for entry into any Sepheo program, nor is it a condition for the receipt of benefits or gifts. 

Sepheo staff and volunteers never coerce youth, children, or their families into religious belief or affiliation. Neither do we preclude our staff from entering into discussions of faith and belief, as these elements are incredibly important in Basotho culture.

What exactly do you spend money on?

We direct funds to running our programs and paying operational staff (i.e. staff who interact directly with children and their families). We spend a very small amount on administration and take every effort to keep these costs as low as possible. We do not spend donated money on fundraising.

If these children have nowhere to live, why don’t you just build a shelter?

The reasons children live on the street are complex. In most cases, providing communal shelter does not address the cause of the child’s homelessness. Lack of food at home, parental abandonment, unemployment, discrimination, property theft, as well as teenage rebellion are all issues that we believe can and should be addressed.

In addition, years of experience in orphan care has demonstrated that children almost universally develop better in families than in institutions. Though this requires a lot more work, Sepheo would prefer to direct its funding towards reintegrating children into healthy families wherever possible.

Do you have a volunteer program?

We do not have a formal volunteer program, but consider requests on a case-by-case basis. As short-term interactions can be disruptive to vulnerable children, we do not accept requests to simply be with the children. We limit volunteer placements to those that would benefit the child, usually though a particular skill or area of expertise. For more information, contact us.

How old are the children you work with?

Our children and youth vary in age from about 11 to 24.

Do you work with both girls and boys?

Presently, children living and working on the streets in Maseru are near universally boys. The reasons for this are complex, and largely cultural.

Are there other not-for-profit organisations working with poor children in Lesotho?

There are a number of organisations working against poverty in Lesotho. Our programs target needs not currently being addressed, and we use our relationships with other organisations to access other services for children when we need them.

How do you pronounce Lesotho?

Le-soo-too. The people are Basotho (ba-soo-too) and the language is Sesotho (se-soo-too).