My return to Beautiful Gate Lesotho, (BGL) my first home
Hi. My name is Maleteka and on 8th January 2001 I was born in Maseru, Lesotho. I only weighed 1.1 kilograms at birth and was tested HIV +.
Sadly, soon after my birth, my mother passed away and just over a month later, so did my Father, both from HIV/AIDS related illnesses. I spent my first 6 months in Queen Elizabeth hospital maternity ward.
In June 2001, I was moved, with 6 other HIV/AIDS infected or affected babies, to a small one bedroomed house, where a new organisation “Little Feet Ministry” had started, with us being the first babies to be admitted. I spent the next 2 and a half years at Beautiful Gate.
and in June 2004, was adopted with another girl-child from Beautiful Gate (Lineo), by Ray and Sue Haakonsen, who were the Co-founders of Beautiful Gate Lesotho.
The next 7 years we became part of the Haakonsen family, first in Lesotho, then Ladybrand and in 2011, moved to Cape Town after my adoptive parents (Ray and Sue) handed over Beautiful Gate to another couple.
The next 10 years Lineo and I lived in Fish Hoek as Haakonsens and attended local schools and made new friends in this new environment. Although we were well cared for by our Mom and Dad, it has not always been an easy journey. There was much turmoil within me regarding my biological family, my country of birth and importantly, my roots.
This led to a number of personal struggles and identity issues for me. We did visit a number of therapists/ counsellors etc along the way, but both my sister Lineo and I had our own individual struggles. I would try to share these but sometimes could not find the words.
Very unexpectedly, earlier this year (2021) it was discovered that some of my biological family had come forward to identify me in Lesotho (this after nearly 21 years!). As a result I discovered I had a 23 year old sister and other relatives who had been seeking me and who wanted to meet me.
In June, thanks to the generosity of a number of people, I was able to travel with my Mom, Sue, to Beautiful Gate in Lesotho, (my first home) with the intention of meeting my biological sister Lerato and the rest of my family. I was very nervous but also excited by this possibility, and it was a joyous time meeting Lerato and some of my family whilst there. There was so much Lerato (who is 3 years older than me) and I had in common and people who saw us together, thought we were twins. Meeting the rest of my family and being at Beautiful Gate in Lesotho, felt like I’d truly returned to my roots.
In my teen years in Cape Town, I found I had a natural gift/love for art and for the last few years have been receiving art tutoring from a wonderful lady named Janice Salthouse. With meeting my biological family and returning to Beautiful Gate, I felt a new burden to return there as a volunteer for the year 2022, to help develop art skills and care for the babies/children at Beautiful Gate.
I have recently heard from Beautiful Gate Lesotho management team that my application as a volunteer as from January 2022 has been accepted. I’m very excited at the opportunity of going to serve at Beautiful Gate and draw closer to my roots, my sister and the rest of my biological family in Lesotho.
Beautiful Gate…here I come 🙂
My prayer/financial support needs
For me to serve at BGL, I need to raise a support team to pray and contribute towards my expenses there for a year. I will need R7000 ($470) up front to set up and get there and then about R5000 ($333) a month to be able to “Serve at my roots”. I would also like to raise some extra funds for materials I will be needing to teach art to the children there. I would love for you to consider being part of my “Serving at my roots support team” as I go.. It could be a one-off payment or a continued monthly commitment towards my serving there. I will be living on Campus at BGL and will live as simply as possible.
The donation button below will take you to my Dad, (Ray Haakonsen’s) Paypal account as he will be handling the finances for me to begin. The payment can be direct through Paypal or your Credit Card account. Thank you so much for considering supporting me in this next exciting phase of my life.
I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also consider subscribing to my newsletter/blog by clicking the response below after considering your support above.
Thanks so much for taking time to read my story and consider supporting me for the next year.