In 2006, an old Methodist hospital project became the home for 21 children in the high mountains of Semonkong, Lesotho.
Over the next few years, the Centre grew and branched out to a second location, resulting in the Pulane Children's Centre.
The Semonkong Hospital Compound dates back to 1979. It was then that Rev. Headley Sleuth, the Welsh-born Superintendent of the Methodist Church in Lesotho, came to Semonkong to establish this Methodist Centre.
In 1995, it closed completely and the entire Methodist Hospital Compound fell into disrepair.
In 2001, a Dutch relief organisation got the use of the compound and Jill Kinsey, an English missionary, joined them in February 2003 until September 2005.
In January 2006, the Dutch organisation moved out. The 1st February 2006 was an extremely important day for Jill and the orphans who were living in the area. Jill decided to stay behind, independent from her mission organisation, in order to help 21 of the most desperate orphans in the Semonkong area. This was the beginning of the Semonkong Children's Centre.
As this Centre became established, more children were helped, and more volunteers came and went, helping where they could. Jill's daughter and family arrived in Semonkong in 2007, and took over the running of the Semonkong Centre. This allowed Jill to branch out, and following a request to visit the southern area of Lesotho, the Pulane village was identified as the perfect place to start another Centre.
An old Canadian agriculture project in Pulane had left behind the shells of buildings, along with a few car wrecks and bits and pieces of agriculture equipment. The 'compound' however, provided the ideal spot to establish a Centre.
Work began on building and fixing what was left by the Canadians, and after about six months, there was enough infrastructure to begin taking in some of the local children who had no where else to go. The official opening of the Pulane Centre was in October of 2008.
Over time, the buildings were added to, the facilities fixed up more and more, and with every month that passed more children in need were identified and taken into the Centre.
- Our aim is simply to help the children in the area who have no where else to go.
- The children attend local schools, and integrate as much as possible with their Sotho culture.
- Jill is the only full time missionary managing the project. She is helped by various part time volunteers.
- Not every child is taken into the Centre, but only those identified by the local committee to have no other options.
- The children's ages range from babies, to young adults.
- We are continually in the process of trying to improve the Centre's facilities, and make it into a wonderful home for the big family.