The K4L Academy has two main pathways outlined below: Employment Training and Student Athlete. Beyond the Academy, we also deliver a range of wider community support in areas such as health education, life-skills-development and HIV testing.
Student Athlete Scholarships
This element of the Academy is an academic, character and football development initiative for vulnerable Basotho youth. Participants are offered full secondary education scholarships, in tandem with high performance football development and a tailored character development program. The ultimate objective of the project is to develop talented Basotho youth into high-performance academics and athletes capable of obtaining full student-athlete scholarships at elite international education institutions including prep schools and universities. These scholarships will enable them to pursue sporting and academic excellence in chosen subjects.
Through the provision of high-level education and with strong character development we aim to support participants in becoming leaders of positive change and development in Lesotho. In addition we hope to develop a new generation of male and female Basotho footballers who will be pivotal to the progress of the senior national teams in years to come.
Employment Training Scholarships
This element of the Academy offers vulnerable youth a two-year employment training scholarship leading to an internationally recognized qualification (City and Guilds). The traineeships are primarily focussed in the hospitality sector, with work experience gained through our own social enterprises - No.7 restaurant, and the K4L Hotel & Conference Centre. The ultimate objective is to develop talented Basotho youth into global industry standard employees leading to further education or international employment. In doing so we aim to help raise the standard of the hospitality sector in Lesotho and help it grow into a vibrant industry in the Mountain Kingdom.
Additionally we run an entrepreneurship project called Jala Lesotho which aims to support young people in developing, launching and running successful and sustainable social businesses. These enterprises cut across a wide range of sectors, all integrating a focus on HIV testing and health education, as well as helping to generate growth and employment in their respective sectors.
Wider Community Support
We also deliver a range of social development activities focused on supporting the wider community. These include the following areas:
Health education, life-skills & HIV testing
Lesotho has the world’s second highest HIV prevalence (23.2%). This has had a devastating impact on family and community structures, With expertise in youth engagement, we work with a range of partners to deliver health education & life-skills development through a curriculum designed to empower young people with the knowledge and skills to remain HIV free. Our Test Your Team model combines the curriculum with football activities and HIV testing & counselling to identify HIV positive youth. Those testing positive are referred to medical treatment and support at their local clinic.
Football is the most popular sport in Lesotho and is played all over the country by girls and boys. Most young people do not have access to structured coaching or proper equipment or facilities, instead using home-made balls and unmarked pitches. Kick4Life fills this gap, running a range of coaching courses that offer young people the chance to play regular football with qualified coaches in a safe and inclusive environment. Football is a great way to improve physical and mental health, as well as helping to develop key life-skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership.
Mentoring & referrals
We provide long-term and holistic support to some of the most disadvantaged young people in Lesotho, including children living on the street, those living with HIV and.vulnerable girls. Mentors conduct an initial assessment of each participant, using our Child Status Index tool to measure well-being and need in the following areas: health, education & skills, shelter, nutrition, psycho-social and protection. This provides an initial benchmark and the foundation for an individual care plan. Participants meet regularly with mentors who assess progress and manage referrals to specialist agencies and, where appropriate, support family re-integration.
Non-formal education & support towards employment
We run a number of non-formal educations classes including basic skills literacy, numeracy and IT skills. For young people aged 15+ Fit4Work is an intensive course aimed at helping young people to develop the skills they need to gain employment and succeed in the workplace, The course covers topics including CV writing, teamwork, interpersonal skills and workplace conduct. Sessions are also run by external experts including our corporate partners such as Standard Lesotho Bank who deliver a workshop on personal finance At the end of the course each participant is linked to a work placement and these can lead to full-time employment.