Stichting Ontwikkelingshulp Lesotho MAlealea (SOLMA)
Policy Plan 2018
Date of establishment: 18-01-2007
Fiscal Number (Belastingdienst The Netherlands): 8177 69 183
Street Address: Van Miereveltstraat 61
7312 RX APELDOORN
Postal Address: P.O. Box 37
7240 AA LOCHEM
Chamber of Commerce Veluwe en Twente: 08155286
Bank: ABN AMRO
Account Number (IBAN): NL03 ABNA 0535 4883 27
Board of Directors:
Chairperson: Dr. Ir. G. Heijkoop, Apeldoorn, Johannesburg (SA)
Treasurer: L. A. Engelen
Secretary: H. A. Bolt
1 - Mission
SOLMA promotes empowerment, improved livelihoods and a spirit of independence of the people of Lesotho, especially in the Malealea valley. SOLMA works together with the Malealea Development Trust (MDT) to achieve this.
2 - Main Goal
SOLMA helps the MDT with their work focusing on Community Development, Health and Well-Being, Education, and caring for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.
3 - Activities
3.1 - Fundraising
SOLMA raises funds from individuals, companies and charity organisations. SOLMA only raises funds for projects and programmes that have been approved by a local charity organisation. We know the people of the MDT and the Malealea valley personally. This ensures acceptance of the project by the local people, a good cooperation and a strong commitment to realising joint projects without any waste of donation money.
3.2 - Recruiting donors
SOLMA recruits donors through friends and acquaintances, and through the website and social media. Where relevant, we send project proposals to charity organisations for projects that fulfil their criteria.
3.3 - Programmes and projects of the Malealea Development Trust
The first area of focus is Health and Well-Being, focusing primarily on supporting the HIV+ members of our community in a holistic manner. Today, about a quarter of the population of the Malealea valley is HIV+, and while they have access to the antiretroviral (ARV) medication they need from the local clinic, living positively with HIV entails much more than mere access to medication. The MDT plays an active role in the community fighting stigma, getting people tested, ensuring that they have enough food to take with their medication, helping them to follow their specific drug regimens, and much more.
The HIV crisis reached its apex in Lesotho in the 1990s and early 2000s. The first ARV clinic was not opened until 2004, and even then it took years for the proper materials and training to make it into the mountains. These factors led to alarmingly high mortality and a devastating number of children losing one or both of their parents.
SOLMA regularly donates money to support the MDT to help HIV+ people.
The second key area of focus is caring for these Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, who have not only suffered the severe emotional trauma of losing a parent but whose futures have also been put at risk by an epidemic outside of their control. The MDT has a social care worker who monitors their home and academic lives and manages a scholarship fund to send them to school. They also stage events throughout the year to support their emotional and intellectual development. There are also children living with disability in our community who we both advocate for and financially support.
SOLMA supports the MDT programme of care for these orphaned and vulnerable children.
Education is the third area of focus. Students are dropping out of our schools at alarming rates. They are overcrowded, underfunded, under-supplied, and under-regulated. The MDT builds and refurbishes classrooms to reduce overcrowding and improve the learning environment. They also provide services to supplement the students’ learning, like the MDT computer training program and the children’s library program.
Many of the children who should be students instead must make time to assist their families make their subsistence living. The subsistence lifestyle is harmful for many reasons: lack of safety net in case of poor yields, lack of opportunity to improve one’s situation, and inability to effectively respond to crises, among countless others.
SOLMA raises funds for the building of classrooms and sanitary facilities and buying school furniture at schools in the area of the MDT. Over the years already two schools and one preschool have received new buildings, with a third school building soon to be handed over to the school. As there are more schools needing proper buildings and sanitary facilities, SOLMA continues to develop projects for them.
The fourth area of focus is Community Development. These projects are designed to improve the productivity of our people to help them generate income in a sustainable way and improve their quality of life.
SOLMA raises funds for specific projects that are approved by the MDT.
3.4 - Visits of Projects
SOLMA visits the Malealea valley at least four times a year. During these visits SOLMA attends the MDT Trustees Meetings as a guest. In these meetings, the Trustees discuss the projects and activities of the MDT, and SOLMA reports on its fundraising activities in The Netherlands. SOLMA and the MDT exchange information freely and in detail.
SOLMA also visits the projects it supports or supported. If needed, we discuss progress with the MDT project management.
Through this direct approach, SOLMA developed an intimate relationship with the local people, especially the people who are directly involved with the projects and benefit from them. These personal relationships often continue years after the finalisation of the projects.
3.5 - Reporting
SOLMA reports about the visits to the Malealea valley and the MDT through newsletters and posts, published on the website and social media (Facebook). We report about specific projects on the website. Donors can always ask about how their donation is being spent for the specific purpose they have chosen.
If a donor wishes to visit the Malealea valley personally, and have a look at their project, SOLMA will organise this. At instances where this was done, the donors were very impressed with the result.
4. Communication with donors
4.1 - Annual Report
From the start in 2007, each year an Annual Report is issued. It covers the projects realised in the particular year and the financials. The Annual Reports are being published on the website.
4.2 - Website and social media
The website is the most important way of communication with donors and charity organisations. All information about projects to be supported and projects being realised or completed will be published on the website. Also short posts with photographs are regularly posted on Facebook.
As a foundation with an ANBI declaration of the Belastingdienst (Dutch Revenue Service) (tax deduction for donors), SOLMA complies with the publication of the Main Goal, the Policy Plan, the names of the Directors, complaints procedure, etc.
4.3 - Complaints procedure
SOLMA will resolve any complaints adequately and in a personal way.
Firstly, the Chairperson will contact the person who complains to resolve the issue at hand.
Secondly, if needed, the full Board of Directors will resolve the complaint to full mutual satisfaction.
Finally, SOLMA will write a report on the discussions with the person who complains, and the conclusion reached. The person who complains needs to sign for agreement.
SOLMA endeavours to nurture and maintain a good relationship with its donors as much as possible. Working in a good way with the money donated and adequate reporting are key to this.
5 - Remuneration of Directors
The directors of SOLMA do not receive any remuneration or reimbursement of expenses.
The Chairperson lives partly in Johannesburg, South Africa, and travels to Malealea at least four times a year. All costs of these visits are paid by the Chairperson in his personal capacity.
The Chairperson and the Treasurer are qualified to handle any financial transactions of SOLMA. Any project and/or programme that SOLMA seeks to fund, is discussed in the Board Meeting and/or via email correspondence.
6 - Financials
SOLMA publishes its annual financial report in its annual report. As the income varies greatly, depending on the projects being fundraised for (school buildings, drinking water projects, etc.), SOLMA does not develop annual budgets.
The operating costs of SOLMA are restricted to bank costs, internet costs, and general costs. These costs generally do not exceed € 300 per annum. SOLMA does not issue an audited annual financial statement any more since 2014. Administration costs have recently been reduced to € 0.
7 - Strategic Cooperation
Since 2017, SOLMA cooperates with Mohloling oa Lerato (Source of Love), Enschede, The Netherlands, founded by ‘Me Nthabiseng van der Lugt - Matube. Mohloling oa Lerato concentrates its efforts on the village of Ha Raboletsi, where ‘Me Nthabiseng was born. One of the projects they fundraise for is the renovation and extension of the drinking water system for Ha Raboletsi and the surrounding villages. SOLMA has extensive experience with this kind of projects and shares its experience with Mohloling oa Lerato. SOLMA regularly visits the people of Ha Raboletsi to discuss the progress of the projects.
In the future, SOLMA and Mohloling oa Lerato will consider merging into a new joint foundation for fundraising for projects in Lesotho, with an emphasis on the Malealea valley and Ha Raboletsi. This aims to enhance the continuity and operating strength of both organisations.