It was another wonderful Zoom meeting this past Friday.  President Laura Lane McKinnon announced that the club will be returning to in-person meetings at The Pirates House on Friday, October 16th.  The Pirates House will provide the members with a boxed lunch that you can eat there or take with you after the meeting.  We will also be using the side door to our meeting room so members do not have to walk through the restaurant.  If you do not feel comfortable attending, a Zoom link will be provided so you can watch from home.  She also reminded everyone that Q1 dues are due and should be paid ASAP.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, Katie Wohlust introduced her cousin, Naomi Schalm, who talked about Lesotho and her work in that African nation.  
Naomi was born in Lesotho and lived the first 10 years of her life there.  In 2013, she returned to Lesotho to be the Executive Director of the Faith Foundation.  Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa and is called the Kingdom in the Sky.  It is one of three African nations to have a monarchy but the monarchy does not have any political power.  Lesotho is known for their horses and has a lot of cattle, sheep and goats.  It also struggles with draught.  It can be quite cold in Lesotho so a wool blanket is part of the traditional clothing.  Lesotho was formed in 1867 as a British Protectorate and in 1966 gained independence and became a democracy.  Many men would leave Lesotho to go work in the mines in South Africa.  At one point, it was estimated that 75% of the male population worked in South Africa.  In the 1990's, the men started to return because jobs were not available anymore.  When they returned, they brought HIV with them.  Lesotho was losing a whole generation to the disease.  Today, one in four citizens have HIV which is the 2nd highest in the world.  The unemployment rate is higher than 25% and as a result, there is a lot of poverty in the nation.  
Faith Foundation was formed in 2005 in response to the HIV crisis in Lesotho.  It was there to help feed the children who were orphaned from the disease, take care of the sick, and to help find jobs for the unemployed.  Today, Faith Foundation has two main goals: 1.  Intervention - provide child protection services through their crisis care home called Grandma's House.  There are currently 26 children living in the house with four house mothers.  More than 145 children have come through the house.  While there, the children go to a local school and are also taught skills such as knitting and agriculture.  2.  Prevention - trauma informed care training and family strengthening.  In Lesotho, children are falling through the cracks and Faith Foundation strongly believes kids belong with families and not in an orphanage or long term care.  They have an 80% reunification with the community.  
Recently, the government gave Faith Foundation a 1.3 acre plot of land.  They also received 40 fruit trees to plant on the property and have their own water well.  The plan is to build small homes for emergency intakes and to start a foster family system.  They need $50,000 for the first stage and have already raised $28,000.  To learn more about the Faith Foundation, please visit