The Official Website of
The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society
building a brighter future for our children
In 1979 Father Maekane, a retired Anglican Priest founded The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society, named for the Principal Chief of Taung who gave land for the Society's projects. Mophato is the Sesotho word for a village where people come together for a special purpose; and the purpose of the Society is to operate as a charitable organization for the relief of destitute children of all ages. Specific objectives were also named:
- to foster destitute children’s well-being through their own families wherever possible and
- to establish, develop, manage and run a project to house destitute children.
On the 26th November 1979 the Society was registered under number 79/17 in the Societies Registry Maseru, under the Societies Act 1966. At the time of Registration the Office Bearers of the Executive Committee were:
Patron: Morena ‘M’antsase
Founder: Father Patrick Maekane
Chairman: Othniel L Mokote
Secretary: Thomas Iliff Simey
Treasurer: Monghali N S Khotle (Samson)
Core funding was initially raised by Society membership subscriptions. Membership was open to anyone who wished to foster and further the objects of the Society, on application and by payment of an annual subscription to the Society, and on condition such membership was approved by the Executive Committee. Should the annual subscription not be renewed, membership would cease.
The first buildings were funded from the American Embassy Self-Help Fund and built by the founder of the Society, Father Patrick M. Maekane with the help of British IVS volunteer, Iliff Simey and 25 local women who were paid in clothing donated by Catholic Relief Services. The buildings were completed in late 1979 and the first child, a 10-year-old girl from a nearby village, was admitted in February 1980.
Father Maekane died peacefully on April 18, 1985 and over the next 15 years the management structure of the Home changed many times.
In the late 1990s when no outside funding was being received, professional and business people from near-by Mohales Hoek were approached and asked to help. They responded, and as a group of concerned citizens they continue to donate their time, making sure the needs of the children are being met. It is also their responsibility to get word out about The Mophato oa Mants'ase Society and the Children's Home.
As a guest of Lesotho's Prince Seeiso, Britain's Prince Harry visited Lesotho for the first time during his gap year in 2004. Prince Harry spent a week at Mants'ase Children's Home where he planted trees, helped paint and decorate sleeping areas and helped with the erection of a security fence. He also spent lots of time playing with the children and taught them to play touch rugby.
He and Prince Seeiso have visited the Home since and the Princes have a continuing role as active patrons of Sentebale which was launched at Mants'ase Children's Home in 2006.
Working in partnership with Mants'ase Children's Home, Sentebale sponsors some of the Home's expenses by means of a regular monthly contribution.
A view of Mants'ase Children's Home
The photograph on the right was taken from the water reservoir.
The buildings on the left: the dormitories, kitchen and communal room. The building on the right: the old storeroom, hammer mill and a common washroom for boys and girls. The area in between is the playground.
Not visible are two rondavels located behind the buildings on the left. These were used by the Director as his private room and office.
Lucy Caslon, who is from England saw news reports of Prince Harry’s visit to Mants’ase and immediately contacted the Home. From that day on she has supported the Home in many ways.
In 2006 Lucy traveled through Africa, volunteering at the Home from August to December of that year. She soon realized the children would benefit enormously from a more varied diet which at the time was beyond the Home’s budget. Lucy contacted family and friends who sent money for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish to add to the children’s meals. And the children flourished. Having seen the positive effects for herself, on returning home to England Lucy started a charity so as to ensure the children continue to receive this important and nutritious variety in their diet. And from this small charity Msizi Africa has grown.
Msizi Africa continues to ensure that there is added variety in the children’s diet and has contributed significantly to the upgrading of the Home’s facilities. This in turn has done much to help facilitate the admission of more children as and when the need has arisen. Lucy visits us regularly as she continues to develop Msizi Africa’s support of Mants’ase Children’s Home.
Father Patrick M. Maekane
This mural was unavoidably lost when the Home was extended to accommodate more children.
Built in 2009
Built in 2010