African Design Magazine February 2016 - Page 37

African project ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre the Mamohato Children’s Centre retained some of the traditional Basotho charm and character of other dwellings in Lesotho. With its earthy coloured buildings and its camp fire, the Centre meets the brief perfectly, whilst enabling 96 children in a week to attend Sentebale’s camp. The ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre is named after His Majesty King Letsie III and Prince Seeiso’s mother, Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, known to the Basotho people as the Mother of the Nation. The land on which the centre was built was kindly gifted to Sentebale by the King Letsie. One of the most important aspects for Sentebale in building the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre was to ensure that local materials and labour were used. Of the total £2.2 million forecast budget, £2.08 million was put back into the Lesotho economy. 127 workmen were employed from the local area, Thaba Bosiu, and all of the workers received special skills training in order that they could benefit for future job roles. This particularly touched the Site Foreman who says; “Being a Site Foreman here at the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre for Sentebale has been wonderful compared with my previous experiences in other constructions. I am humbled by Sentebale’s requirement to specifically request that we hire from the community here at Thaba Bosiu and fully support it.” Creating the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre has often been compared to erecting a small village in terms of the project size. The centre is made up of four clusters of three cabins, 12 in total, which can house 96 children at a time for camp. There is a large office space which houses Sentebale’s 26 employees in Lesotho, along with another accommodation block for guests. On entering the site, the first building that comes into view is the welcome centre, with a gable façade, crested with the Sentebale flower. There is a clinic containing medical examinati