By Sma Phethoka

I cannot imagine what Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) would have done if it was not because of the support it obtained from companies to respond to the adverse starvation that was brought by COVID 19 lockdown in April 2020,” explained the LRCS Secretary General Mr. Kopano masilo.

To mention but a few sponsors, Standard Lesotho Bank offered about M270 000 for tippy tanks to be constructed at taxi ranks in the 10 districts of Lesotho. This would make it easier for Basotho to adhere to the “wash your hands campaign” that is said to be one of the best precautions against the spread of COVID 19. These will enable people to often wash their hands while in town or nearer to these places.

Petroleum Fund has also donated M30 000 for fuel of assist LRCS to reach all places of need while Zenzele Itereleng (A south African Humanitarian organization serving host countries of South Africa mine workers) had donated Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Maloti M472,500 for 500 beneficiaries of Maseru Urban,Ha Ramabanta, Semonkong and Thaba Tseka. The 500 beneficiaries are comprised of 150 beneficiaries of Maseru Urban 103 of Ha Ramabanta, 117 from Semonkong as well as 130 from Thaba-Tseka.

In addition, Coca-Cola had donated 35,000usd which will also be used in All ten districts Country wide. The funding is going to be used for construction of tippy taps in 10 districts at congested places. These places include 5 official public taxi ranks, as well as five (5) schools at the hot spots. Other than these the funding is going to be used for 10 orphanage homes for 404 orphans, 100 homeless people and 250 vulnerable street vendors. This means that orphans, semi orphans, street children and vulnerable street vendors are going to be provided with food.

Masilo indicated that the Society is helping homeless people from Maseru and Leribe with daily meals.

The Society had also received donations of both food and money from both companies and individuals depending on their abilities. These includes Econo Foods, Lesotho Dairy Products, Mokotso Fruits and Veg, Pick’nPay, Scenery Guest House, P. Molefe Transport, as well as Development for Peace Education (DPE).   Individuals includes Sister Celestina Mohale, Motsotuoa Makoa, Pheko Phera, Thembile Dlangamandla, Limpho Nchepe, and people who wanted to be anonymous.

“Since people from the communities are being assisted by big companies in the Country, the Society had decided to lend a helping hand and remember these ones who are homeless from towns,” Maphoma explained.

“The other group of beneficiaries is of individuals seeking for assistance from our offices. They just come, explain that life had been difficult for about two weeks, that is why they come seeking for assistance since they had not yet been assisted, not recognized in their villages,” Maphoma explained

One of the beneficiaries who came to LRCS Headquarters demonstrated that she had heard of Lesotho Red Cross for a long time, and that when COVID 19 lockdown was introduced hence causing poverty dilemma in his family; she remembered that LRCS would intervene.

“I used to sell food to students at one of Primary Schools in my community, and due to lockdown, schools had closed, hence hindering my business, leaving us jobless,” one of beneficiaries said.

It would be of good importance to highlight that among people who are being assisted, there are about 179 homeless who are assisted with food in the Maseru districts, while about 66 are being assisted in Leribe. Again, at least 300 orphans and vulnerable children received food items from Lesotho Red Cross Society LRCS) on June 10, 2020 at its Health Centre at Kena in Maseru district.

“LRCS appreciates everyone and every company that showed interest as well as hearing its call to share with the vulnerable that which they had.

Apart from these, he further articulated that since COVID 19 is world-wide pandemic, doors are still open for anyone else who wishes to lend a helping hand through the Society. He further demonstrated that since LRCS had been working with giving out donations to the most vulnerable people, it was not a problem anymore as to who should receive and who should not, according to their levels of vulnerability.

According Mosaola, LRCS had mobilized funds through the Resource Mobilization Committee (RMC) which was comprised of Mr. Hareteke Nkhets’e, Ms. Moikabi Matsoai, Mrs. Kotelo Hlehlise, Advocate Rethabile Sakoane and Ms. Moqali Lebitsa.

Apart from these, Maphoma demonstrated that they worked cooperatively with Divisional Chairpersons as well as Divisional Secretaries as gate keepers in their districts. He indicated that they were able to penetrate into Companies’ offices to seek for assistance.

“Through the assistance that the Society had received from different people and Companies, LRCS managed to bring smile to the faces of despairing people, and LRCS highly appreciates efforts of all individuals and Companies,” Masilo emphasized.