You are here: Lesotho

Country background

Lesotho is a small, mountainous country, completely landlocked by South Africa. About 75% of Lesotho's people live in rural areas and engage in animal herding and subsistence agriculture. The highlands constitute two-thirds of its territory, less than 10% of which is suitable for cultivation. The country gained independence from the UK in 1966, and is ranked as the 61st cleanest country in the world by Transparency International. Lesotho is 80% Christian, with the other 20% holding indigenous beliefs.


• Two million people, with 33% younger than 15

• Life expectancy: 53

• Poverty headcount ratio: 57% (2010)

• HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 23%

• Government education expenditure as a % of GDP: 13% 

• Literacy: 79% of people aged 15 and older can read and write

Our Lesotho partner


Sentebale supports orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom are affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through education, psychosocial support, and care, Sentebale aims to provide them with the tools they need to lead healthy and productive lives. Lessons for Life funds Sentebale to provide access to education and vocational training through night schools and secondary school bursaries. In 2019, we are contributing to the funding of Sentebale's secondary school bursary programme which covers the costs of school fees, uniforms, and education materials.