RSDA Managing Director ‘Mampho Thulo wrote the below message to introduce a booklet celebrating the organisation’s 25th anniversary.
We at the Rural Self-Help Development Association (RSDA) are proud to be marking our 25th anniversary. This is a major milestone, and we are very grateful.
To everyone involved – current and past RSDA staff, friends, farmers, young people, partners, funders – please accept my sincere thanks for your ongoing passion and commitment. Without all of you, RSDA simply could not have grown into the marvellous organisation it is. Moreover, without your drive and vitality, we would not be able to inspire smallholder farmers across the Kingdom of Lesotho.
“It is particularly gratifying to celebrate our 25th anniversary with our new farmers, as well as with our more established farmers – several of whom have been with RSDA since the beginning.”
Reflecting on the long and winding (and at times difficult) journey of RSDA, I especially wish to acknowledge Mr Mathias Sommer. In his forward thinking, Mr Sommer convinced GAA that establishing a new non-governmental organisation (NGO) would be a more meaningful exit strategy. Twenty-five years down the line and he is well and truly vindicated! RSDA is alive and kicking.
I would also like to acknowledge the founding Board of Directors and employees, who set a wonderful tone for the organisation. They set us up for success. The first steps can be the hardest and we are forever in their debt. Subsequent Board members have also played a crucial role in keeping us moving and growing. They deserve great thanks. My current Board of Directors, with their energy and ideas and hard work, are ensuring RSDA’s future is bright. I thank you all.
Most importantly, allow me to acknowledge all our funding partners. It is our funders who have who have not only trusted RSDA with their financial resources but have also enabled us to learn and grow. It is particularly gratifying to celebrate our 25th anniversary with our new farmers, as well as with our more established farmers – several of whom have been with RSDA since the beginning. We know that mixing the old with the new can only lead to great outcomes.
Now, while it cab be fun to look back, it’s equally exciting to look forward. And even with current challenges – namely climate change and HIV/Aids compounding our already fragile land resources, food insecurity and unemployment – RSDA remains forever optimistic for our Basotho Nation. We draw strength from knowing we will tackle these challenges together, arm in arm, to meet any problem and overcome any obstacle.
Working with farmers, agri-business, civil society, government, development partners, RSDA will continue to assist smallholder farmers to deliver food security for our beautiful country.
Full of hope and resolve, I share our 25th anniversary celebration with you and look forward to another fantastic 25 years.