"Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected."
– Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General, United Nations

LesothoDuring the upcoming accelerated January session, 10 nursing students and 2 Lourdes professors will travel to a small sovereign enclave in Africa to engage in a transcultural nursing experience. The small country is the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The constitutional monarchy is often referred to as the "Kingdom of the Sky" because it is 3,281 feet above sea level and boasts Thabana-Ntlenyana, the highest peak in Africa south of Kilimanjaro.

Bounded on all sides by South Africa, Lesotho is considered an impoverished area and ranks 3rd in the world for HIV/AIDS population.

Lourdes University community traveling to Lesotho

2 professors

10 nursing students (7 graduate, 3 undergraduate)

  • Jennica Austin
  • Rosemary Ball
  • Ana Bitz
  • Brandi Breseman
  • Colleen Foley
  • Joseph Hauser
  • Breanna Mellon
  • Brenda Roberts
  • Bethany Ruff
  • Kim Sutphin

Lesotho mapLesotho facts

  • Lesotho – pronounced LA-SOO-TOO
  • Country formerly known as Basutoland
  • One of few sovereign nations with a king
  • 2 main languages: Sesotho and English
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 2.5 billion (2011)
  • Nation is bounded on all sides by South Africa and is one of only 3 enclaves in the world, a distinction it holds with San Marino and Vatican City
  • Government: Constitutional monarchy
  • Economy: Lesotho ranks 3rd in world HIV/AIDS population and is considered an impoverished area
  • Lesotho translates to "the land of the people who speak Sotho"
  • Life expectancy: 48 years (2011)
  • Flag: Blue, white and green in color, the flag features a prominent black "mokorotlo" or Basotho hat at its center. The upper blue band represents the sky and rain; while the white and green bands represent peace and the land of Lesotho respectively

Learn about Lesotho houses, the country's coat of arms, towns, current issues, the Basotho people, and more.

Lesotho history

Established in 1920 by King Moshoeshoe I

1820-1868 Incorporation of smaller clans during time of Shaka, the Zulu king
1868 British annexation
1872–1884 Rule of the Cape colony
1884–1966 Direct British rule
1966–1986 Independence under King Moshoeshoe II
1986–1993 Military rule under King Letsie III
1994–present Democratically elected government under King Letsie III


NUR 450 Transcultural Experiences in Health Care and Clinical

This course focuses on developing sensitivity to persons from different cultures, understanding the strengths of individuals from different professional disciplines, learning about systems of healthcare delivery and education in a different culture, and adapting to providing healthcare under challenging conditions.

All students will collaborate with the health care team in utilizing resources. Didactic learning will be enhanced by an international healthcare service learning opportunity.

  • This standard nursing course was adapted for the J session to include a study-abroad opportunity and immersion experience
  • The travel expenses were made part of a course fee allowing some of the course to be covered by financial aid
  • Kathleen and Lynne are both members of the local Zeta Theta Chapter at Large of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and are applying for a service learning grant. This grant will hopefully help cover the service learning expenses
  • If you would like to make a donation to assist with the funding of the service learning projects in Lesotho, contact Sr. Barbara Vano, OSF, Director of Service Learning, at 419-824-3861 or bvano@lourdes.edu


The Trading Post in Roma, Lesotho, will serve as home base for the Lourdes entourage

  1. Students will visit and may assist with HIV/AIDS education at Kick4Life – a charity established by Steve and Pat Fleming (well known Irish Soccer freestyler) of Southampton, UK. After dribbling a football (soccer ball) across Malawi to raise funds for an AIDS orphanage, they were inspired to begin the official charity.
    A registered charity based at the Football for Hope Centre in Lesotho in southern Africa, the charity delivers a range of projects aimed at supporting vulnerable boys and girls. This includes health education and HIV prevention, voluntary HIV testing, life-skills development, mentoring, support towards education and employment, and the chance to enjoy sport of football (soccer).
  2. Lourdes students will engage African children at the Baylor Pediatric AIDS Clinic in Masero, sponsored by Baylor University, through the following activities: coloring, face painting, reading, and affixing sticker tattoos. The children travel and walk hours to one of 2 clinics available. During their day-long healthcare visit and HIV education, the children spend a substantial amount of time waiting.
  3. Lourdes students will read to young children and offer other activities at Little Angels Orphan Day and Pre School.
  4. A visit to Thaba-Bosiu (mountain of the night), a sacred space in the sovereign nation. This is the place where the Basotho people's former King Moshoeshoe I made his home and where the terrain made for an impenetrable fortress against enemies.
  5. Students will visit Holy Family Sisters St. Joseph's Hospital and the National University of Lesotho Department of Nursing to learn more about nursing and healthcare in Africa.
  6. Students will visit the Apartheid Museum in Ormande, Johannesburg, South Africa, to learn in-depth about this country and the region's history, including Apartheid. In addition, they will have the opportunity to shop in local African craft markets. Lesotho and South Africa are known for their basket weaving and other unique crafts.
  7. At the end of the week, students will go on safari at Kruger National Park near the countries of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.