Case Study: Jewels of Hope

JoH kids making jewellery

Paballo lived with his parents in an outer suburb of Maseru. When he was eleven years old, his mother became mentally ill and had to give up her job at a local book centre. Paballo became very reliant upon his father who unfortunately became ill and died in 1998. After this tragedy in his family, Paballo was no longer able to go to school because there was no money for his school fees. For three years, life was very difficult. He was eventually able to return to school in 2002 through the generosity of his principal.

In 2003 ‘Love in Action Lesotho’ became aware of his plight and found a sponsor for the next school year.  In 2005, a shy and withdrawn Paballo became one of the first young people to join the newly formed Jewels of Hope program. This program provided him with a monthly income to sustain himself and his mentally ill mother.

Two years later, Paballo began a three-year Diploma in Home Economics at the Lesotho Agricultural College. He was particularly interested in pursuing further studies in nutrition. Paballo then went on to study a Teacher’s Diploma and graduated in 2011. He is now employed as an assistant teacher at the American International School in Maseru.                                          

Paballo is still a valued trainer in Jewels of Hope, training other children from desperate situations in jewellery making. He has developed into a confident young man and loves to share the mentorship material with his Jewels of Hope group. Paballo is a true example of how hope and love can transform a young person’s life!


Partnerships that make an impact

Lessons Learnt

Jewels of Hope grew informally and very rapidly, from the response in 2004 of an individual to the orphan crisis in southern Africa in the early 2000’s. Up to 250 children were involved in jewellery-making groups in Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi by 2006. No procedures and systems were in place, however, and it soon became unworkable in its unstructured form. Since 2007, a Board has been set up, the organisation has registered as an NPO (non-profit organisation) and a PBO (public benefit organisation, and the Jewels of Hope model has been formalised in procedure manuals, partnership agreements and program management systems. Partners are now carefully selected, an agreement is signed and the partners are trained at regular events (three times per year) in how to run a Jewels of Hope program. The model becomes sustainable within the first year of operation as jewellery sales by the partner create sufficient income for the ongoing costs of bead kits and training events.

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