By Pusetso Sehlabaka

Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) held a two-days Strategic Planning meeting from Monday the 12 to Tuesday the 13 December 2022 in Maseru. The meeting was attended by LRCS management,  National Executive Committee (NEC),  National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC), Staff, Stakeholders, Divisional secretaries, Health Centre Management, and other external partners.

When officially opening the meeting, the president of LRCS Mr. Hareteke Nkhets’e thanked the hard-working staff and volunteers for keeping the Society afloat for the past five years. He further stated that the 2018-2022 strategic plan had key priorities namely; Humanitarian diplomacy, Programs Management, Organizational Development, and Sustainability.

“We embark on this activity when our country’s economy has plummeted to unprecedented levels.” He said.

He added that the admirative costs of the Society are mostly taken care of by the property portfolio which is mainly rented by the government, however, the government’s decision to end the rental contract left the Society in operational paralysis. He added that the Society’s key priorities in the ten offices are; governance and leadership, resource mobilization, volunteer and youth development, humanitarian diplomacy, national identity, reputational management, and digitization.

“We must develop the culture of compassion as our fundamental principle dictates.” He concluded.

The Secretary General of LRCS Mr. Kopano Masilo said that the purpose of the meeting was to evaluate and review the five-year strategic plan(2018-2022) and build the new strategic plan.

“The purpose of reviewing and evaluating is so that we can be informed about the good things that we did and the weaknesses that we need to correct.” He said.

He added that the other purpose of the meeting is to build the new strategic plan for the next five years ( 2022-2027). “The success of the strategic plan depends on the understanding of the people that are involved in the organization,” The Secretary-General said.

The meeting generally agreed on the successes that Society had in the past five years which included its ability to assist people who were affected by disasters regardless of limited financial resources. Other than this  LRCS offered psychosocial support in schools, provided Water Sanitation and Hygiene in schools and in the communities, provided protection awareness during covid 19 pandemic and initiated strategic activities such as PAN African tree planting initiatives as part of helping fight the problem of climate change to mention few.

Covid-19 has overshadowed many success stories that Society could have had because the need for assistance has increased to the point that it is very difficult for Society to assist almost everyone who needs assistance.

While officially closing the meeting, the LRCS Vice President Mr. Thato Mokete indicated that it has been a great and fruitful meeting and they have seen their strengths and weaknesses as the Society.

“ Let us go back to our Divisions and correct our mistakes and keep doing well where we have been doing well, let us close the gaps where need be and always work together to bring a good change in the Society because if we work individually we can not achieve much” he concluded.