Bridging People and Possibilities  |  A Service of  Tyndale University

Executive Director

Executive Director

Company: Help Lesotho
Contact Person: Ellie Rusonik
Location/Address:
610 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON
Ottawa, Ontario

Position Description

THE OPPORTUNITY

Help Lesotho is looking for an innovative and entrepreneurial-minded Executive Director to lead our organization into an exciting future by leveraging our close to 20 years of proven success and impact to scale up our reach and scope. A Canadian NGO specializing in psychosocial support, Help Lesotho delivers 22 programs in five districts in Lesotho, reaching over 20,000 vulnerable beneficiaries annually.   

Reporting to a supportive and engaged volunteer Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) is the public face of the organization. The ED provides organizational leadership, strategic guidance, and direction for Help Lesotho’s resource acquisition, donor relations, public engagement, financial accountability, program development and impact, and human resources management. 

Acting in close partnership with the Country Director, the ED provides leadership to a team of 45 employees in Lesotho (40) and Canada (5) and is accountable for an annual budget of approximately $2M. It is expected that the ED will spend 4 to 6 weeks a year in Lesotho interacting with staff and beneficiaries, nurturing key relationships, and facilitating a strong partnership between the teams in Canada and Lesotho.     

The Executive Director will be responsible for realizing and delivering on Help Lesotho’s vision and the objectives in our new strategic plan. Building upon nearly two decades of ground-breaking work by our Founder, the ED will bring creative approaches and new ideas while respecting, honouring, and building upon Help Lesotho’s culture, values, and successful practices. 

This exciting opportunity includes scaling-up partnership development and stewardship of Help Lesotho’s innovative CHANGE4ce (changeforce) social enterprise to expand Help Lesotho’s reach and impact.

With a passion for and experience in international development, preferably in Africa, the Executive Director will bring demonstrated capacity working in a complex donor environment. A compelling and inspiring communicator with the ability to passionately engage others, the new incumbent will steward existing donors while building and growing a relevant network of Canadian and international partners and funders to take Help Lesotho to the next level. With a proven track record of fundraising, partnership development and management, the Executive Director will bring best in class fundraising practices and strategies and tech-solutions for communications, donor relations and project and program management.

Seen as a trusted advisor, leader, and colleague, the successful candidate will demonstrate compassion, diplomacy, empathy, and cross-cultural sensitivity to ensure a healthy, collaborative, and nurturing culture. The ED will be experienced in supporting a Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, donors, and community leaders, drawing upon and valuing the diverse talents and fostering an inclusive and supportive environment.

As someone who cares deeply for people, the ED will be mission and values driven with a passion for helping vulnerable people build community leadership, personal responsibility, and life skills to overcome challenges in a development context. They will have demonstrated experience in building deep relationships with all stakeholders based on values of care and respect.

The ED will ideally be based in the Ottawa Region or open to frequent travel to Ottawa and can expect regular, annual travel to Lesotho.

ABOUT LESOTHO AND THE BASOTHO PEOPLE

Lesotho is a small, mountainous country landlocked within South Africa with a primarily rural population of approximately two million people. One of the most homogeneous countries in Africa, the people of Lesotho share the same religion (82% Christian), language (Sesotho), culture and ethnicity. The Christian beliefs, faith and practices of the Basotho people permeate their every-day life and traditional culture.

Unlike most countries in Africa, Lesotho was never colonized but rather became one of three British protectorates, known as the Homelands. Lesotho gained its independence from Britain in 1966. Ravaged by the AIDS pandemic, life expectancy fell to 34 years of age by 2004. It is now 54-57 years of age. Poverty, isolation during apartheid, AIDS, and poor governance structures continue to influence the Basotho’s response to adversity. One of the world’s poorest countries, 57.1 percent of Lesotho’s population live below the national poverty line. Rooted in an identity of strong beliefs, values, culture, customs and language, the Basotho strive to hold onto their traditional socio-cultural cohesion of which they are proud. Their resilience comes from experience and resourcefulness, as they respond to the fracturing of community and family systems that have historically been the pillars of care for each other and of communal life. The gradual introduction of the internet has provided access to information and informal education to even the most remote areas of the challenging mountainous terrain in Lesotho.

ABOUT HELP LESOTHO

VISION

Youth of Lesotho have the agency and resilience to create healthy and self-sustaining futures.

MISSION  

We develop and deliver holistic, innovative programs that help people heal, learn new skills and strategies, and ultimately take action for the benefit of others. We are empowering a critical mass of children and youth with the knowledge and support needed for them to lead a movement that:

Advocates for social justice, particularly the rights of girls and women, in pursuit of gender equity;
Promotes the prevention of HIV transmission; and
Champions and challenges all involved to make healthy decisions and be socially responsible.

We fulfill this mission through the delivery of psychosocial support programs to build resilience, education programs to foster self-management, and leadership training programs to take action for the benefit of others. HIV/AIDS and gender equity education are embedded in all programs to increase knowledge and healthy attitudes.

CULTURE AND VALUES

Acknowledging, respecting, and validating the cultural values of the Basotho people, including their Christian values, has been fundamental in shaping Help Lesotho’s culture.  Similarly, the faith of its founder has influenced the organizational culture of servant leadership, dignity, respect, and deep, caring relationships.  Other values that reflect the culture of the organization include individual accountability, ownership, excellence and integrity. These values are shared by and help to unite staff, the Board and donors to the work of Help Lesotho.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Help Lesotho became one of the first 100 Canadian charities to achieve accreditation through the Imagine Canada Standards Program on May 27, 2014. Accreditation is a testimony to Help Lesotho’s transparency, accountability, and effective governance. Help Lesotho complies with annual reviews by Imagine Canada and has maintained accreditation since 2014.

STRATEGIC PLAN 2022-2027

Help Lesotho’s new Strategic Plan responds to the changing conditions and opportunities in the organization and in the context in which it works. It identifies three key overarching and aspirational objectives in continuing to address the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve, as well as the associated parameters required to stay focused and accountable. Help Lesotho’s regular 22 programs in Lesotho remain ongoing but will be adjusted and improved as required through feedback and regular assessment. CHANGE4ce provides the opportunity to expand and grow Help Lesotho’s scope and impact.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase the reach and relevance of Help Lesotho’s work
    • Set and maintain clear, monitored boundaries around growth and expectations.
    • Ensure responsiveness to changing socio-environmental influences likely to impact our beneficiaries.
    • Integrate continuous learning and improvement in all programs.
  2. Increase Help Lesotho’s national and international visibility, impact and influence
    • Leverage our experience and expertise to position ourselves as specialists in building resilience.
    • Strengthen and promote the CHANGE4ce program
    • Incorporate participant-led advocacy activities into all intensive programs as a measure of agency.
    • Increase partnerships and funding opportunities in Lesotho.
  3. Maximize organizational sustainability while maintaining high standards of accountability and management
    • Ensure a successful leadership transition from the founder to the new executive director.
    • Increase autonomy in Lesotho
    • Ensure Board capacity/sustainability

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Help Lesotho focuses on the ‘development’ aspect of international development as opposed to the ‘relief’ component, in response to some of the most pressing issues in Lesotho, namely gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, unemployment, poverty and grief. Compassionate delivery of life skills training programs support participants to build their resilience, improve their mental health and well-being, and become advocates and role models for social change. All programs utilize a psychosocial support approach and core proprietary content to foster self esteem, equip people to make healthy decisions and share factual information about human rights, sexual and reproductive health, gender equity and HIV/AIDS.

The all-local staff deliver 22 programs for vulnerable and at-risk children, youth, young mothers, herd boys, teachers and grandmothers. Programs are delivered in rural villages, partner schools, and at Help Lesotho’s two community leadership centres. Programming ranges from drop-in opportunities at the centres, to year-long intensive programs, to community advocacy through youth-led dramatic education and advocacy productions, to high school sponsorship.

Over the last 18 years of working in rural communities in Lesotho, Help Lesotho has had over 60,000 graduates of intensive life skills and psychosocial support programs and reached more than 265,000 vulnerable people.

Help Lesotho has developed a library of more than 100 proprietary, locally-relevant participatory training modules that are used in our programs.

To expand the reach and impact of Help Lesotho’s psychosocial support programming to other vulnerable populations and contexts, we have developed the CHANGE4ce Program. CHANGE4ce trains and equips other service providers working with vulnerable people (health care providers, police, teachers, etc.) with the knowledge, skills, and compassion to more effectively address the psychosocial needs of those in their service delivery provision. This innovative methodology and training was developed by Help Lesotho’s founder, Dr. Peg Herbert, and other psychosocial facilitators in rural Africa after years of field experience, observing, and identifying the trauma suffered by many of the populations that Help Lesotho serves.

Help Lesotho’s programs, including CHANGE4ce, are designed to have the following impacts:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

About Us

Our Programs

Leadership

Annual Report 2020-2021

Financial Statements 2020-2021

Work & Impact

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Leadership

  • Provide strategic vision, structure and implementation of the strategic plan 2022-2027 to meet the organization’s goals and objectives;
  • Be the professional, public face and accountability presence of the organization to donors and sponsors at all times unless otherwise delegated;
  • Develop a strong, productive and supportive relationship with the Country Director to enable leadership of the local organization and local staff;
  • Manage the outstanding leadership team and provide direct supervision to the Country Director, Director of Programs and Partnerships and the Chief Financial Officer;
  • Ensure all organizational activities meet policy and procedural requirements;
  • Work with and report to the Board of Directors including the following duties:
    • Build and maintain productive relationships with all members of the Board;
    • Ensure fulsome, timely communications with and reports for Board of Directors, its meetings and committees;
    • Support the Board of Directors in developing clear, thoughtful strategic plans to meet the highest standards of ethics and international development principles;
    • Continually assess, manage, and report on potential or actual risks to the organization.
  • Develop and maintain a current, detailed understanding of the needs and political environment in Lesotho, all Help Lesotho programs and impacts.

Revenue Generation and Donor Relations

  • Directly supervise and work closely with the Donor Relations Manager to ensure the highest quality of donor acquisition, retention, and communications delivering an innovative and successful fundraising program;
  • With the Director of Programs and Partnerships, seek, secure and respond to appropriate RFPs and grant opportunities from foundations, churches, international development grants;
  • Accountable for all partnership agreements and commitments made on behalf of the organization;
  • Ensure fundraising and donor relations strategies meet the organizational budget and financial needs;
  • Build meaningful and lasting relationships with Help Lesotho donors;
  • Develop and foster major donor relations and initiatives.

Public Engagement

  • Represent Help Lesotho to other organizations, funding bodies and donor groups through meetings, public speaking and proposal development and negotiation;
  • Seek new opportunities and develop and monitor public engagement strategies and activities;
  • Maintain and communicate knowledge pertaining to Lesotho in areas including government and governance, education, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, gender equity, community-based organizations, and sustainable development activities;
  • With the Donor Relations Manager, ensure impressive appeal materials, newsletters, announcements, updates, and press releases, communications, publications and engagement activities that grow donor response to the needs in Lesotho.

Financial Accountability

  • With the CFO, provide oversight and management to the financial processes, personnel, reports and procedures to ensure fiscal accountability to CRA, Board of Directors and donors;
  • Oversee the development and approval processes for annual budgets, revenue projections and financial reporting and schedules;
  • Ensure documented and acceptable ROI on program expenditures.

Program Leadership and Impact

  • In consultation with the Country Director and Director of Programs and Partnerships, ensure programs in Lesotho meet local needs, are effective and financially responsible;
  • With the Country Director and Director of Programs and Partnerships, ensure standardized quality control in all programs and reporting, including:
    • Regular program monitoring, evaluation and continual improvement;
    • Program innovation and coordination with strategic objectives.

Human Resource Management

  • In consultation with the management team, ensure all staff acquisition, training, retention, evaluation and dismissal are innovative, ethical and in compliance with Help Lesotho HR policies and procedures;
  • Be a motivational leader in providing vision and staff engagement to stay focused on the goals and objectives of the organization;
  • Foster on-going needs assessment and welcome capacity building staff development and initiatives that develop a high-performance team in both countries;
  • Ensure all contractual and on-going employment documents and practices comply with the laws and best-practices of both countries;
  • Anticipate, mitigate and proactively address any liabilities and employee risks to the organization.

QUALIFICATIONS & KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Progressive senior leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience in international development, preferably in Africa, with a current understanding of key issues, trends and contexts
  • Experience in diverse revenue generating programmes and success engaging and soliciting individuals, corporations, and foundations for major gifts and partnerships
  • Deep understanding of the current Canadian donor context and history of securing international grants
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and nurture networks with a diverse set of individuals and organizations
  • Passion for the work of Help Lesotho and for the beneficiaries we serve with drive to advance and expand our impact
  • Experience and/or interest in the areas of mental health, psychosocial support, and resilience
  • Knowledge of organizational governance and expertise working with, supporting, and coaching boards and senior volunteers
  • Ability to provide strong financial oversight
  • Inclusive and collaborative team leader who has experience fostering relationship with people from different cultures; inspires confidence, passion and works alongside the team towards a shared vision
  • A demonstrated commitment to the personal and professional development of staff at all levels; brings a “people first” approach to all they do
  • Ability to demonstrate genuine care, compassion and empathy for beneficiaries, staff, donors, and volunteers
  • Ability to think strategically and bring a forward-looking perspective to the work
  • Confident leader who has a track record of taking on new roles/initiatives, learning quickly and taking decisive action
  • Commitment to respect and honour the importance of faith in the lives of some of Help Lesotho’s donors and in the customs and practices of many of the Basotho staff and beneficiaries
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills
  • A valid driver’s licence, passport, Covid-19 vaccination, and fulfilling health and security protocols are required, as regular travel, nationally and internationally, is required for this role.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Help Lesotho. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent or Mona Ip, Senior Search Consultant by email at HelpLesotho@kcitalent.com  

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by October 21, 2022.

View the full Executive Brief

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required for activities the Executive Director will be expected to attend such as events, meetings, and travel.

Please note that the salary range for this position is $120,000- $140,000

Posted: September 22, 2022 | Expires: October 21, 2022
Posted Under: Executive
Career ID: [ 11157 ]