MASERU–As the United Nations in Lesotho celebrated the 69th birthday of the UN with national and international partners last Friday, (October 24) it also formally introduced the Basotho people to MY World 2015, the United Nations Global Survey with the help of the United Nations Volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations like the Rise Up Youth Organization.
“We will work to pass the survey on to other youth, which means getting into villages and into schools,” said Ramootsi Majalle, Director of the Rise Up Youth Organization.
Ramootsi said he hopes to enable as many Basotho as possible to have their say, including those with visual disabilities by translating MY World into braille.
Lesotho, a small landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa, is beset by a number of persistent development challenges. It has the second highest HIV burden in the world—second only to its close neighbour Swaziland. Half of the country lives below the national poverty line.
The United Nations seeks the views of the Kingdom of Lesotho on the world they would like see post 2015. Unemployment is rampant, particularly among youth, who make up almost half of the population.
“Engaging youth is critical to reaching a sizable portion of the Basotho people,” said Ms. Karla Robin Hershey, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Lesotho.
“We want to make sure that their voices are heard as we transition into the next set of sustainable development goals.”
UN Day activities led by volunteer involving organizations yielded almost 150 votes on the afternoon.
Several national volunteer groups helped collect MY World votes, including the Rise Up Youth Organisation, and the Campaign for Education Forum. In addition, MY World was supported by the National Volunteering Corps, a government volunteering initiative supported by UNV and UNDP.
“MY World Survey is a great opportunity for Basotho to have their say in determining the post-2015 agenda,” said John Villiers, a UN Volunteer from Ireland.
“The turnout was outstanding and we look forward to working with our national partners to spread MY World into other districts across Lesotho.”
Mark S. Cogan, UNDP Communications and Reporting Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, +266 Tel: (+266) 22 313 790 ext. 377